Nutcrackers were first mentioned as a toy as well as a useful tool for cracking nuts in the mid 18th century. By the 1830s when Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began their dictionary of "High German," the term Nussknacker explained the figure as a man whose mouth cracks open a nut. In the beginning nutcrackers depicted images of kings, military officers, and other prominent members of the upper classes. Today, nutcrackers depict many other characters from around the world.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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