UNITED STATES - JULY 26:  1974 SCORE - Baja 500 Off-Road Race Jack In The Box restaurant sponsored Class 1 buggy.  (Photo by Pat Brollier|Bob D'Olivo|Eric Rickman|Jack Brady|Jim McCraw|Mike Parris/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Jack-In-The-Box Once Had A Completely Unexpected Name
By Angel Albring
The fast food chain Jack-in-the-Box might be best known for its odd mascot — the clown with the round head. One of the oldest fast food chains in the country, Jack in the Box was officially founded in 1960, but its roots go back even further than that.
Jack-In-The-Box can be traced back to a San Diego fast food chain known as Topsy's Drive-In, which was started in 1941 and was known for its circus-like decor and clown mascot. The chain was renamed Oscar's, after founder Oscar Peterson, and one of these locations was later renamed Jack-In-The-Box in 1951.
Peterson updated the decor for that first location, putting the mascot in an actual jack-in-the-box, and the name followed. It was one of the first restaurants to use the intercom system at the drive-thru, which was attached to the mascot's head, and the redesign was such a hit that soon all of Oscar's locations were renamed Jack-In-The-Box.