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The world's only Christmas cracker historian has revealed the fascinating beginnings of the Christmas tradition that still goes with a bang after more than 160 years.
Peter Kimpton has spent the last 15 years researching the novelty item and its creator, hunting down ancient cracker boxes, adverts and catalogues to chart its history.
The cracker was invented by Londoner Tom Smith, an apprentice baker and confectioner, who became known as the King Of Crackers to Victorians.
His sons continued his business and by 1900 the company produced 13 million crackers a year.