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Memorial

Smiths' water fountain monument Smiths' cracking water provision

Fountain: Smiths' water fountain monument

Erection date: 1899

Inscription

Erected and presented to the Parish of St Luke by Thomas and Walter Smith (Tom Smith and Co) to commemorate the life of their mother, Martha Smith, 1826 - 1898.

Site: Smiths' cracking water provision (2 memorials)

EC2, Finsbury Square

The sons erect the splendid water fountain and the daughters erect the utilitarian water trough. Does this tell us something about their personalities or about Victorian gender differences?  What it doesn't tell us is any information about the family or the company 'Tom Smith and Co' and, given the surname, research is proving fruitless..... Until, in the lead up to Christmas 2012, the splendid Londonist posts an item about the origins of the Christmas cracker invented by no other than Tom Smith of Goswell Road, father of the family with a penchant for providing public water.

In 1847 Tom Smith, ornamental confectionery seller of Goswell Road, took the French idea of a bon-bon wrapped in a twist of paper and invented the Christmas cracker, which his firm initially called 'le cosaque'.  This successful product, also used to celebrate any event you care to name, enabled the business to move to larger premises on Finsbury Square, where they stayed until 1953.  They received their first royal warrant in 1909 and still make exclusive crackers for the royal family.  Tom left his business to his three sons: Tom, Henry and Walter.  In 1953 the firm merged with Caley Crackers and moved out to Norwich.  More information at Tom Smith Crackers.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Smiths' water fountain monument

Information Subjects commemorated

50534

Martha Smith

Mother of Thomas, Walter, P. L. and L. D.

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Smiths' water fountain monument

Information Created by

50534

Thomas Smith

Son of Martha.

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50534

Walter Smith

Son of Martha.

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Smiths' water fountain monument

Information Also at this site

48376

Smiths' water trough

In remembrance Martha Smith 1898. Erected by her daughters P. L. and L. D.

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