Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

February 2018

Newsletter from The Nutcracker Lady

We always try to educate with our newsletters, articles, books and informational cards with the displays.  We even educate with our nutcracker hunts.  And it is because of the hunts that this newsletter evolved. 

On one of the elementary grade nutcracker hunts we listed “Uncle Sam” as a nutcracker to find.  Several students have come to the desk to ask “Who is Uncle Sam?”  And they still looked puzzled when I asked if they found the man in the red, white and blue costume.

It was in September 1961 that the US. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam”,   but it was cartoonist Thomas Nast that developed the character into the white haired gentleman in the stars-and-stripes suit.  The German-born Nast was credited too for the modern image of Santa Claus, and for creating the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans.

Probably the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Flagg and used during World War I as a recruiting poster with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army”. 

Utah… Here are two Uncle Sam nutcrackers made a number of year ago in Utah. The one on the left is from the Nutcracker Suite and the one on the right was created by Classical Millworks.

Milford… Susan Milford created a nutcracker of Uncle Sam with the “I Want You” finger. Milford nutcrackers are highly prized by collectors.
KWO… Spokane, WA artist E.M. Merck created this version of Uncle Sam for the KWO workshops in Olbernau, near Seiffen.
Zim’s… Here is a fun loving Uncle Sam from Zim’s. These nutcrackers were designed in the United States, but produced in China.
Ulbricht… Two Uncle Sams in longer jacket and coat were created in the Christian Ulbricht workshops. The one on the left is from the Lauingen workshops and the one on the right from Christian Ulbricht’s Seiffener Nussknackerhaus in the Erzgebirge.
Mary Myers… Mary Myers is one of America’s favorite folk artists and carves nutcrackers in her Virginia studio. She added a Lady Liberty to go with her Uncle Sam.
Steinbach… Here are some of the Uncle Sams created in the Christian Steinbach workshops in Germany. The Steinbach workshops created most of their designs for the American market, and Uncle Same was a favorite character.

Arlene Wagner, The Nutcracker Lady

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum




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Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization


Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

Open 7 Days a Week
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut"

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Active Military - FREE (Spouse & Children Free with ID)