Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

The place to ask your Cracker Jack Prize questions. (Open to All)
Cyndy Boesch
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Re: Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

Post by Cyndy Boesch » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:58 pm

I found all of these pot metal prizes in a reprint of an old Dowst Manufacturing catalog, except the skull and the frog. The catalog doesn't have a date, but it has an address in Chicago with a postal zone, so it was pre-1964. At least you can say that this lot (with the exception of the two mentioned) was all made by Dowst. Whether they actually ended up in a Cracker Jack box can't be determined, as Dowst would sell to anyone who had a use for their products. It was a surprise to me that Dowst also made some of the tin items that are found as Cracker Jack prizes; most notably dust pan, the little plates with animals embossed in the middle, the common shovel, sleds, and the little two piece red train that is fairly common; also the tin stand-ups that say "officer" or "private". And the tin sundial, the flag stand-ups ("God Bless America") and the "You're It" hand spinner. I originally thought they only molded pot metal.

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Re: Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

Post by ronson » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:21 pm

Don, you've given me a goal to s-l-o-w-l-y pursue... and I need to track down a copy of that book. Or that section on the 1922 pot metal critters, at the very least.

Diane, great story. In this over-informed age -- pawn shops aren't nearly as much fun, as they used to be -- it's harder and harder to make a score like that, so good for you!

Cyndy, reckon you're correct, re: whether or not these charms actually came out of a Cracker Jack box. How common was that, for Cracker Jack to purchase a line of prizes that could also be found elsewhere? I'm guessing this all just pre-dates the idea of exclusivity...?

Thanks again for all the neat info, folks!


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Re: Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

Post by Luke » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:25 am

ronson wrote:How common was that, for Cracker Jack to purchase a line of prizes that could also be found elsewhere? I'm guessing this all just pre-dates the idea of exclusivity...?
I don't know how common it was for other manufacturers, but from the 1930's-1960's many of the Cracker Jack prizes made by Carey Cloud were sold separately. Also, prizes made by NOSCO were sold separately, but that may have been done after the company was sold to Saunders Tool & Die in the mid-50's (I know very little about non-Cloud prizes). I'm sure there are many more examples.

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Re: Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

Post by Donovan » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:46 am


Here's the list of known charms from Larry's CJ book. Many of these are also known without charm loops. Many come in various japanned colors as well.

As Cyndy mentions, these were made by Dowst.

Anteater, 0.9"
Beagle, 0.55" h
Bear looking straight ahead
Bear looking down, 0.75"
Large bear walking with head down
Buffalo, 0.75" l
Bull with head down, 0.9" l.
Bull head to left, 0.7" l
Bull, head straight, 0.95" l
Camel, 0.7" l
Camel, 1.0" l
Cat, head turned to left, 0.75" l
Cat, ready to attack, 1.0" l
Cat front pose, 0.5" l x .25" w
Dachshund, 0.9" l
Deer looking left, 0.6" l
Deer looking right, 0.9" l
Donkey, 0.7" l
Donkey, 0.8" l
Elephant, 0.7" l
Fox, 0.8" l.
Gelding, 0.75" l
Goat, 0.75" l
Horse, 0.75" l
Lion, 0.9" l
Pig, 0.9" l
Pony, 0.75" l.
Pug dog, 0.6" l
Rabbit jumping, 0.9"
Rabbit on all 4s, 0.75"
Rabbit seated, 0.75" h
Rabbit seated, poorer detail
St. Bernard dog, 0.8" l
Squirrel, 0.9" l
Warthog, 0.75" l

Jeffrey Maxwell
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Re: Metal 1920s prizes...? Maybe?

Post by Jeffrey Maxwell » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:32 pm

I was reading above what others have said about the price of these prizes. Right now, a normal retail price for these online is about $6.00 each. $3-4 each is a very reasonable price to pay for these. I used to buy these up at $1 each 20 years ago -- and no one was interested in them then.

The skull is a gum machine prize. Are you sure it is metal? It looks like a skull I have seen before that has a plastic base material with a vacuum plated metal coating.

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