More about Thimbles


In 1388 the wealthy Nürnberg merchant, Konrad Mendel, built a retirement home for old Nürnberg craftsmen. Twelve 'brothers' could be accommodated at any one time. Since about 1425/6 each 'Mendel brother' was portrayed in the 'house book'. In the early 16th century a successor to the Mendel Home was built by Matthew Landauer who was a mining entrepreneur. This second 'twelve brothers' home also kept a memorial book.

One 'brother', Hannß Franck, a thimble maker, was only in the Landauer home for seven weeks and was not recorded with a picture in the house book.

The original books are in the Stadtbibliothek in Nürnberg and collectively contain six drawings of thimble makers. The books are so delicate that they are no longer available to view so the library has made the images and details relating to the images available on the web:

ving (...)’ was in the first, Mendel, home and was the 16th 'brother'. He lived in the late 14th century. He was a thimble maker and one of the very first inhabitants of the home. His length of stay in the home was unknown.

Veit Schuster (1515 – 1592) was a thimble maker and in the home for four years and four months. He was inhabitant number 444.

Martin Winderlein (1557-1627) was in the home for 2 years and nine months and was 'brother' 527.

Nicholas Zeittenberger (1596-1667), a thimble journeyman and 'brother' 591, was in the home for 4 years but because of his unkempt and filthy state he was transferred to the 'water tower' four months before he died on Christmas eve.

Wolf Laim (1549-1621) was a thimble maker who lived in the Landauer home for three years and 11 months.

Georg Hernia (1569-1640) was in the Landauer home for 1 year before he died. He made thimbles but later he became a bale binder.

Holmes: na.

Researched and published in 2002/11

Copyright@2011. All Rights Reserved

Magdalena and William Isbister, Moosbach, Germany



nÜrnberg thimble maker’s