The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper

Monday, June 16, 2003

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A Prize in Every Box

Chicago, Illinois - On June 16, 1893 R. W. Rueckheim invented Cracker Jack. His hot new product was a concoction of popcorn, peanuts and Molasses. It was first introduced at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

R. W. Rueckheim and his brother Louis were operating the firm F. W. Rueckheim & Brother when they discovered a process to keep the tasty popcorn morsels from sticking together.

Their formula is still in use today with the product offering "A prize in every box" since 1912. Another product of the firm was Angelus Marshmallows. The Cracker Jack Company was purchased by Borden in 1964. Frito-Lay purchased the brand in 1997.

One advertising piece for the products was a combination over-the-top cap lifter and folding corkscrew. "Cracker Jack" was stamped on one end of the handle and "Angelus Marshmallows" on the other. The corkscrew combination tool was produced by the J. E. Mergott Company based on William C. Hiering's February 12, 1929 U. S. Patent 1,701,950 for a "Pocket Corkscrew". Mergott was located in Newark, New Jersey.

Can anyone offer an explanation for the corkscrew - cap lifter advertising for a sweet snack product?

Is Pepsi OK?

New Bern, North Carolina - On June 16, 1903 Caleb D. Bradham registered the Pepsi Cola trademark. The pharmacist's product was first used in his store's soda fountain in 1898. He had mixed carbonated water, pepsin, kola nut extract, sugar, vanilla, and oils to come up with a drink that eventually gain worldwide popularity. Today, it is not uncommon to order a "Coke" in a restaurant eliciting the waitperson's response "Is Pepsi OK?"

On this anniversary of the trademark registration, John Stanley has submitted a gallery of Pepsi-Cola corkscrews from his collection:

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©2003 Don Bull, Editor


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum