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Steinbeck Exhibit

Frederick Rueckheim


Creator of Cracker Jack 

The snack was created by Frederick Rueckheim, a German immigrant, in 1893. He moved to America to help clean up after the Chicago fire and made a living selling popcorn from a stand. Rueckheim proves to be a textbook example of the foreigner coming to America and living out their dream, while still contributing to American society in a respectful and patriotic way.

Not unlike the Joads, Rueckheim came to the states chasing an American Dream and dealt with the difficulties of migrant life successfully. Despite their dreams being a more simple aim to find shelther and food to put on the table every night, Steinbeck writes the Joads' narrative as a heartbreaking example of the ways that American society shuns the migrant's ability to see those basic dreams through.