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Nuremberg crafts

Wire-drawer Dietrich Schockenzieher, around 1425. Mechanical wire drawing was a pioneering Nuremberg invention from the 14th century. Photo credit: Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Nuremberg Municipal Library

Nuremberg was one of the leading craft centers of Europe. Nuremberg wit – the inventiveness of its craftsmen – made up for the lack of raw materials. Nuremberg tradesmen were highly skilled and made brilliant use of the knowledge of their time, constantly improving their products, tools, and techniques and inventing new ones.

The Council ruled the trades, and trade guilds were forbidden: In this, Nuremberg was an exception among the Free Cities of the Empire. But Nuremberg crafts developed their own traditions and institutions, though strictly regulated by the City Council.

In the room "Nuremberg Crafts", famous Nuremberg crafts like book printing, wire-drawing, and watch making as well as inventions from three centuries are displayed.