At one time, nutcrackers were actually made of metals such as brass, and it was not until the 1800s in Germany that the popularity of wooden ones began to spread. The late 19th century saw two shifts in nutcracker production: the rise in figurative and decorative designs, particularly from the Alps where they were sold as souvenirs, and a switch to industrial manufacture, including availability in mail-order catalogues, rather than artisan production.


The spring-jointed nutcracker was patented by Henry Quackenbush in 1913.


Carvings by famous names like Junghanel, Klaus Mertens, Karl, Olaf Kolbe, Petersen, Christian Ulbricht and especially the Steinbach nutcrackers have become collectors' items. Decorative nutcrackers became popular in the United States after the Second World War, following the first US production of The Nutcracker ballet in 1940 and the exposure of US soldiers to the dolls during the war.


A ratchet design, similar to a car jack, that gradually increases pressure on the shell to avoid damaging the kernel inside is used by the Crackerjack, patented in 1947 by Cuthbert Leslie Rimes of Morley, Leeds and exhibited at the Festival of Britain.


After the 1960s, the availability of pre-shelled nuts led to a decline in ownership of nutcrackers and a fall in the tradition of nuts being put in children's Christmas stockings. ===Alternative designs=== In the 17th century, screw nutcrackers were introduced that applied more gradual pressure to the shell, some like a vise.


After the 1980s, Chinese and Taiwanese imports that copied the traditional German designs took over.


The United States Postal Service (USPS) issued four stamps in October 2008 with custom-made nutcrackers made by Richmond, Virginia artist Glenn Crider. ==Other uses== Some artists, among them the multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, have used the sound nutcrackers make in music. ==In animals== Many animals shell nuts to eat them, including using tools.

All text is taken from Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License .

Page generated on 2021-08-05