We usually get our nuts at the grocery store in plastic bags, already shelled
and ready to eat, but in your great great grandmother’s day, the nuts had to
be shelled in the home. Of course there were many different mechanical
nutcrackers to use, but people tried their best to find a beautiful or
unusual nutcracker that would make for interesting conversation as the
shells were being cracked.
We are familiar with the wooden toy soldier nutcracker that chomps the nut with his large teeth. His mouth opens and closes by using the handle at the back of the figure, but did you know that some nutcrackers open by lifting up on the big nose? Some nutcrackers even crack the nut by sitting on it, and others stamp their foot on the nut to break it. Some nuts are cracked under a man’s belly, and sometimes you twist the ears of a funny figure!
Many animals nutcrackers will open their mouth by lifting up on the tail, and sometimes you lift up the tail of a bird! Sometimes the nut is cracked under the tail of a squirrel, and sometimes the nut is broken in the pouch of a kangaroo!
Sometimes a heavy metal ball is dropped on the nut to crack it, and sometimes you turn a ship’s wheel to crack the nut. One nutcracker looks like a knife slicing a piece of cheese, and sometimes the nutcracker is hidden inside a big metal nut!
Some nutcrackers come apart in the middle, and you place the nut inside. Then the top is replaced and the man is hit on the head to crack the nut. Ouch!
Can you think of an odd or unusual way to crack a nut? Draw a picture of your idea.
Part of the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
735 Front Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826