, Newburyport, MA


June 5, 2014

Pearsons cook up a name for themselves


In December of the same year, Pearson was praised again for “always studying out something for the good of mankind” for his tasty Fruit Biscuit with currants. The soda cracker was raised to a new level and promised “good eating without accessories with it” (Daily Eastern Argus, Portland, Maine).

A New Year novelty followed with an Amber Biscuit, a spicy gingerbread cake, and finally the Ralston Health Biscuit.

In 1890, the Northwestern Miller noted “the cracker pool is stated to now embrace John Pearson & Son, of Newburyport, Ma.” The plant was transferred to the cracker cartel, the New York Biscuit Company, which became known as Nabisco.

In 1997, Nabisco tried to capsize the sea biscuit, but Americans were just not ready to jump ship. After several thousand calls and complaints on this “culinary blasphemy” accusing the company of desecrating an historical icon, Nabisco revived the Crown Pilot Cracker.

In the Custom House Maritime Museum, there are two of the original boxes used by Pearson. Stop by for a tour and find out the sweet course that made them bread winners and not loafers!


Melissa Berry blogs at

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