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Wilhelm Friedrich Füchtner (1844-1923), known the world over as the "Father of the Nutcracker" produced the very first "mass production" nutcracker around 1870, using a water-powered lathe to turn the body parts rather than carving each nutcracker by hand. His home workshop in Seiffen, the small toy-making village in the middle of the Erzgebirge in eastern Germany, is still the home of the finest nutcrackers.
His ancestors were carpenters and in the wintertime they were out of work. In order to provide for their families, they used their woodcarving skills to produce wooden figurines. In 1786, Gotthelf Friedrich Füchtner sold the first wooden figurines at the Dresdener Striezel Market.
Today, six generations later, Volker Füchtner honors his great-great-great grandfather by still producing nutcrackers in the old tradition in the very same home workshop—the birthplace of the nutcracker.
Roger Lund, owner of The Christmas Haus, arrives at the Füchtner Homestead in Seiffen.
Wilhelm Friedrich Füchtner.
Volker Füchtner at his lathe.
Roger Lund, owner of The Christmas Haus, and Volker Füchtner in the Füchtner workshop.