Origin of Names and Packs

Cream Crackers

Towards the end of the 1800’s there existed several small biscuit manufacturers who had installed plant.  One of these was W & R Jacob & Co (Liverpool) Ltd.  They invented a line that they called “Cream Cracker”.  It was an immediate success and within a few years a competitor, Huntley and Palmers, brought out their own version.  Jacobs’ biscuit, unlike the South African biscuit, did not have a line down the middle.

“Cream Crackers” was one of the varieties that was exported to South Africa and it was not long before the biscuit manufacturers in this country started making a similar product.

William Baumann (son of JML Baumann), who had his own factory in Cape Town trading as Baumann’s Biscuits, conceived the idea of stamping a line down the middle of the biscuit with small indentations at the top and bottom edges.  The idea was that the biscuit was too large and could easily be broken in two by the user.

Pyotts decided to go one better and they produced a biscuit which did not have a continuous line on it, but instead had serrations passing right through the biscuit.  William Baumann felt that he had invented something new and that Pyotts had infringed his invention so he brought a court case to prevent Pyotts from manufacturing biscuits with this serration on it.  The judgement given was that there was nothing particularly clever or original about putting a line down the middle of a biscuit, whether it was a continuous line or a non-continuous line, and it did not require much stretch of the imagination to conceive such an idea.  Accordingly it was held that anybody could make a “Cream Cracker” with any kind of line down the middle.  It was not long after this of course that all biscuit manufacturers in South Africa produced “Cream Crackers” with a dotted line down the middle.

Jacobs still make this biscuit in its original form without the division.