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Cracker Jack Collectors Association History & Lore
1871 It all began when a German immigrant named Frederick William Rueckheim started selling popcorn that was made by hand method with steam machinery, on 113 Fourth Avenue in Chicago, now known as Federal Street. Frederick William Rueckheim
1893 According to legend, a unique popcorn, peanuts and molasses confection that was the forerunner to Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts is introduced by F.W. Rueckheim and Brother, at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago's first World's Fair. Chicago Worlds Fair 1893
1896 Louis Rueckheim, F.W.'s brother and partner, discovered the process for keeping the molasses-covered popcorn morsels from sticking together.

Got it's name Cracker Jack from a salesman who exclaimed "That's a crackerjack!", which at that time meant fantastic.

Their slogan "The more you eat, the more you want" was also copyrighted that year.
Louis Rueckheim
1899 Henry Gottlieb Eckstein developed the "waxed sealed package" for freshness, known as "Eckstein Triple Proof Package." Eckstein.JPG (16477 bytes)
1902 The company was reorganized as Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein. Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein
1908 The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", written by lyricist Jack Norworth and composer Albert Von Tilzer, gave Cracker Jack free publicity with the line, "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack!" Baseball
1912 "A Prize in Every Box" is introduced when toys are inserted into every package. A Prize Inside Every Box
1914 A new plant for manking Cracker Jack was opened in Brooklyn, NY. Building
1918 Mascots Sailor Jack and Bingo introduced. Sailor Jack was modeled after F.W. Rueckheim's grandson Robert. Sailor Jack's dog Bingo was based on a real-life dog named Russell, a stray adopted in 1917 by Henry Eckstein who demanded that the dog be used on the packaging. Sailor Jack and Bingo
1922 Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein was renamed The Cracker Jack Co. The Cracker Jack Company
1941-1945 Supplied field rations for the Allies during World War II. In 1943 and 1944, the company received three awards from the Army and Navy, including one for high achievement in the production of materials needed by our armed forces. K Rations
1964 Columbus, Ohio-based Borden, Inc. purchases the Cracker Jack Company. It becomes the Cracker Jack division of Borden, Inc. Bordon
1975 Automated, high-speed, continuous cooking machinery replaces the metal tubs in which Cracker Jack was batch-coated. Cracker Jack Factory
1993 Borden celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack. Cracker Jack 100 Years
1997 Frito Lay purchases Cracker Jack brand from Borden. Frito Lay
2012 Cracker Jack celebrates 100 years of "A Prize in Every Box." Prize in every box 100th Anniversary
2013 Frito Lay celebrates the 120th anniversary of Cracker Jack. 120th Anniversary

CJCA - Cracker Jack Collectors Association