Do you know that nutcrackers existed as far back as 8,000 years ago? Well, yeah, they were stones, but those were the original nutcrackers. Metal, brass and iron nutcrackers came along much later and were designed for usefulness rather than beauty. It was not until the 15th and 16th centuries that woodcarvers began carving beautiful nutcrackers. The carving of nutcrackers in the likeness of animals and humans began in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1872, the first commercial production of nutcrackers was begun by Wilhelm Füchtner, the “father of the nutcracker.” And now we find many styles available, especially during the Christmas season, and many people collect these interesting, decorative objects.
Today, when I think of nutcrackers, I think of the decorative toy soldiers. But as a child, I did not know of such things. Walnuts were a staple in the six Christmas stockings that hung in our home, but even using the metal nutcracker was beyond our strength. Daddy became our nutcracker – literally – because he had such strong hands he could crack the walnuts without the use of a tool. So, here’s to the family nutcracker whose hands are now at rest.