I was deciding what to have for breakfast this morning and staring at me from the top of my fridge was my lil bucket of chocolaty cat crackers. And it made me nostalgic for animal crackers in the little box with the string. So I wondered when those came around.
Turns out that in the early 19th century they came around in barrels to the U.S. from England where they were very popular and then once in the states became popular here as well.
“Animal biscuit crackers were made and distributed under the National Biscuit Company banner. In 1902, animal crackers officially became known as "Barnum's Animals" and evoked the familiar circus theme of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Later in 1902, the now-familiar box was designed for the Christmas season with the innovative idea of attaching a string to hang from the Christmas tree. Up until that time, crackers were generally only sold in bulk (the proverbial "cracker barrel") or in large tins. These small cartons, which retailed for five cents at the time of their release, were a big hit and are still sold today.” -wikipediaAlso over the years there have been at least 45 different animals portrayed in the lil barnum box. The latest one added was a koala in 2002 to celebrate their 100 year anniversary!