Celebrating Animal Crackers
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS
Katie Lachcik, left, and James West, right, two Pleasant Valley Life Skills students, helped celebrate National Animal Cracker Day at the Western Pocono Community Library with Patti Weiss, the library's circulation manager. The library offered snack bags filled with animal crackers to patrons for a small fee. Animal-shaped crackers were introduced to the United States during the late 1800s. The demand skyrocketed so bakers began to produce them domestically. Crackers are usually in the shape of circus or zoo animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears and monkeys. Stauffer's Biscuit Company was the first company to produce animal crackers in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or "Nabisco Brands." It was not until 1902 that the animal cracker's box debuted its "Barnum's Animals" circus theme. Since their start in 1903, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum's Animal Crackers. Today more than 40 million packages are sold each year around the world.