The 12 Days of Merry: How the Nutcracker Came to Be

1800s
German mines shut down – so miners turn to woodworking as a means to provide for their families.

1870
Friedrich Wilhelm Füchtner creates the first commercial, mass-produced version of the nutcracker – a king wearing cavalry dress and a crown reminiscent of a miner’s hat.

1892
Peter Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, premieres, sparking people’s interest in collecting nutcrackers.

1945
American soldiers return from World War II, bringing the nutcrackers home as keepsakes.

Today
Legend says nutcrackers serve as trusty watchdogs, guarding your family from evil spirits and danger.

“Don’t be afraid, my beard is long, my head is large, my look is grim, but that matters not. I won’t bite you. In spite of my big mouth and grim appearance, I look with my heart for your happiness.” – German folklore

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November 18, 2012