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Always On Top

Always On Top Advertising Button Museum
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Blue text on a white background around a red, white and blue illustration of a box of cracker jack

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In the 1930s, Cracker Jack caramel popcorn featured prize tin toy tops with a wooden peg handle in their snack boxes. Cracker Jack was the creation of Frederick William Rueckheim, a German immigrant who sold the popcorn in Chicago beginning in 1871. The Cracker Jack name became a registered trademark in 1896 and the company began selling their product in a moisture-proof paper packaging and is considered by some historians as the first junk food. The company provided a wide variety of trinkets as prizes including toy tops, miniature wagons, beer mugs, dice, trading cards and whistles.

The snack has been commonly sold at American baseball games, and is featured in the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Cracker Jack was bought out by Frito-Lay, who in 2016 replaced the trinkets with a digital code which purchasers can use to log into the company’s site to view their favorite baseball moments.

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