One more thing most people don’t know about nutcrackers

A recent letter to The Express (UK) offered a list of “Ten things you never knew about… nutcrackers.” Here is the list:

  1. The earliest known nutcrackers have been identified by archaeologists as pitted stones used to crack nuts between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago.
  2. Cracked nut
    Cracked nut. Flickr/Michael May
  3. The earliest known metal nutcracker dates back to the 3rd or 4th century BC.
  4. Metal screw nutcrackers became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries with the development of the screw-cutting lathe.
  5. The earliest known mention of nutcrackers in English is in Customs Accounts of 1481.
  6. There is a Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington. It is home to over 6,000 nutcrackers.
  7. According to German legend, nutcrackers bring good luck to your family and protect your home.
  8. For that reason, nutcrackers were popular Christmas presents for children.
  9. The heroic Nutcracker of Tchaikovsky’s ballet comes from a story The Nutcracker And The Mouse King by ETA Hoffmann.
  10. According to Guinness World Records, the largest nutcracker measures 10.10m (33ft 1in) high and was made in Germany in 2008.
  11. Aristotle is said to have invented the first nutcracker with a lever action.

With all due respect, anthropologists would add an important number 11: our primate relatives, chimpanzees, have been cracking nuts for millennia.

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