Kestner Family Genealogy Forum
I only just started researching this name for my husband. I found a website that tells a little more on his family, (he had TWO wives!!)...at the same time!! Full name was Johann Daniel Kestner, the son of restaurant operator, barkeeper, and master butcher, Bernhard Heinrich Kestner, sought new sources of income following the bankruptcy of his family’s business. He had already begun trading with Napoleon’s troops around 1805. Not satisfied merely to trade, however, the investment-happy Kestner acquired machinery and opened his own factory in 1816, producing papier-mâché goods, buttons, and wooden dolls. In 1822, Kestner was granted an exclusive license to produce papier-mâché from, interestingly enough, hay, thistles, straw, and bark (not paper and rag) – a license he held for 25 years. Though wood certainly played an important role, papier-mâché was to be the most important raw material in early Waltershausen doll and toy production.
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