posts: christmas

Bizarre Victorian fact of the day...

Tom Smith, the businessman credited with the invention of the Christmas cracker in the 1840s, sold a number of festive products including decorations, games, confectionery and indoor fireworks. His company also produced ingenious clockwork window displays for other businesses. These included cottages, windmills, trains and watermills, each displayed under a glass dome, as well as musical automatons in the form of dancing sailors, ‘Paddy’s obstinate pig’, a Japanese tea-drinker and 'The Parisian Laundress’. Tom Smith’s also sold clockwork pictures with and without music. The musical versions would play for an hour once fully wound.