IN OUR MUSEUM: A monthly writeup from an artifact located in the Van Zandt County Veterans Museum in Canton, Texas.
What does a box of Cracker Jack, the song “Take me out to the ballgame,” and a WW2 Navy Uniform all have in common? (case #8)
Original Lyrics to “Take Me out to The Ballgame”
Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out with the crowd,
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame
Cause it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game.
The “Cracker Jack” Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois around 1895. It was invented by a pair of German immigrants. Though little is known about Fred and Louis Rueckheim’s actual reaction to this “Take Me Out” phenomenon, it seemed to at least open their eyes to some more promotional possibilities outside the usual norms. Theoretically, it also turned them into born again baseball fans.
Shortly after “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was released, the first prizes started appearing in Cracker Jack boxes, many of them baseball related in theme.
In 1918, the familiar, uber-patriotic Cracker Jack box debuted, featuring the new fictional faces of the company—a sailor boy named Jack and his spunky mutt Bingo.
“It was certainly logical, therefore, that the trade character which we created should be a boy, jovial, happy, his arm full with three packages of his favorite confection. It is a trade character, designed to appeal to children, to work its way into their memory and make friends of them. And because every boy should have his dog for a pal, we gave the Cracker Jack boy his Bingo—a hybrid pup of questionable pedigree, but just the sort that every boy loves,” said their Company catalog.
(The swabby on the front is Jack; his dog is Bingo, and the crunchy treat has been around for over 120 years). The Navy dress uniform — also known as “cracker jacks” — is one of the most iconic symbols in the military today.
For more Information about the Cracker Jack Company click on URL below:
The VZC Veterans Memorial Museum is opened (during COVID) Tuesday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is FREE.