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Re: Need ID help on old Cracker Jack prize

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:39 pm
by DesertDonn

I have used WD40 before on iron meteorites; it is really not a rust remover, but a preservative. It also soaks into the rust and evens out the color, which you can see in the below photo which I soaked in WD40. I usually remove light surface rust with a thick paste of baking soda and water that you rub around the surface with your finger and it will do little damage to the actual surface. Anything beyond that will start to remove what is left of the tin coating and once that happens the iron begins to rust. My piece will never look like Stewarts photo as the tin on the surface has already been damaged too much.
Removing the rust that is left will just end up leaving the surface with a lot of pits in it.

The value in this piece that I found is not in trying to restore it to like new condition; it is in the finding of the piece and what its history might have been. Did some child of a miner get a box of Cracker Jack from his father (even at 5 cents this was expensive for a miner in those days) and did he lose his prize while walking through the barren rocky hills around the mine. That to me is the value of this piece.

An additional note after I saw the manufacturers name in Stewart’s photo I started to do some searching and I think it might have been a company in Chicago, Vaughan Novelty Manufacturing Co. It started out in 1910 as the Crown Throat & Opener Company and sometime between then and 1919 it changed its name to Vaughan Novelty. One of its catalogs said that it produced “advertising novelties and premiums in metal”. Since Cracker Jack and Vaughan Novelty were both in Chicago it is possible that this was who produced the embossed spinner.

I am assuming that Vaughan Nov. Mfg. Co is Vaughan Novelty Manufacturing Co.
Are there other Cracker Jack prizes that are marked Vaughan Nov. Mfg. Co.?


Re: Need ID help on old Cracker Jack prize

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:34 am
by larrydw
Hello again,
I did not think the WD-40 would make much of a difference and, as you said, it is more to remove the surface rust and maybe prevent things from getting worse. I am sure the Vaughn Novelty Mfg Company are the same one as marked on the prize and probably Vaughn supplied more prizes for CJ. I have not seen any marked and that may be the issue as there would not always be an inconspicuous place to mark it.
I too have always wondered about the history behind some prizes that I found - which is why a tend away from "Mint In Box" or never used toys - pity t he poor child who received it only to find out that they can never play with the toy - - only look at it.

Re: Need ID help on old Cracker Jack prize

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:05 am
by DesertDonn
Hi All

I would like to clear up a few points about the Cracker Jack spinner that I found. I belong to a metal detecting club in Tucson and at each monthly meeting we have a Find of the Month contest. Depending on how good a story I tell I might win a prize!!!

So if anyone can help me with some details I would appreciate it.

Remember, I am not a Cracker Jack collector so I know only what I have learned on the web over the last few days thanks to you who are the real collectors. If I am not asking the right questions please let me know.

Does anyone have a date for this spinner, right now from previous posts it appears to be between 1912 and maybe as late as 1928?

Does it predate the tin lithograph spinners?

On a rarity scale how would it rate?

Any chance it was a special premium before the prizes were put in the box?

Is it listed in any Cracker Jack collectors guide books?

Thanks again for all your help.

Re: Need ID help on old Cracker Jack prize

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:10 am
by larrydw
Hello All,
To try and answer your questions:
Date: About 1910 and after
Predate tin litho tops: Possibly to probably
Rarity: Scarce
Special premium: Possibly
Listed in CJ reference books: Listed in "The Prizes of Cracker Jack" to be released on CD next month. I do not believe it is listed in any of the other CJ reference books.
Page from "the Prizes of Cracker Jack". Listed as B-0206.

Rarity is very subjective. A good example is the Cracker Jack akro agate marble in original wrapper. Only one that I know as original was in the COSI CJ exhibit, so that would put it as "one-of-a-kind". By itself the marble is worth $2.50, the wrapper about $7.00 (if they could be found). The original combination could bring $250 (guessing) although there are less rare prizes that bring more.
Now for stories, etc. I wonder if a box of CJ went from the gateway to the West all the way to Arizona without being opened. (OK, so it was used as barter to trade with the Indians for the silver mine.) Probably came West as a toy although it is challenging to spin a top in sand.


Re: Need ID help on old Cracker Jack prize

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:02 am
by DesertDonn
Thanks very much for all the information, I really appreciate it.