Treasures of pre-cinema history
The magic lantern
Johann Adam Gugler, Nürnberg
The Nürnberg Industrie- und Kultur-Verein appointed the mechanicus...
...Johann Adam Gugler (* end of 1779/beginning of 1780; † June 20, 1860 in Nürnberg) from Muggenhof as a full member at its society meeting on July 27, 1820. Gugler probably followed the typical path into working life in those days. Beginning with an apprenticeship and then followed as a journeyman to become finally a master. At the time of his admission the workshop existed for some years, otherwise Gugler hardly would become a member of the exclusive circle of the society. Gugler's workshop was founded around 1810. From the very beginnings the workshop made optical toys, like a price list from December 1815 suggest: "Magic lanterns in various designs. Each lantern comes with 12 painted glasses, (...) very fine magic lantern made of brass (...)". Around 1822, Gugler was mentioned as a "magazine of optical and mechanical objects, Weisgerbergasse S. No. 186.".
Later his workshop was located in the Untere Kreuzgasse L. 1568 (Mittlere Kreuzgasse 28) of Nuremberg. The elongated house L. 1568 connected the Untere Kreuzgasse with the Mittlere Kreuzgasse. The workshop of Johann Christian Wolfgang Rose was located in the same street, so the workshop owners certainly know each other. In the early morning of September 26, 1823, a fire broke out in Gugler's workshop, which could only be contained with the quick help of "noble people". Nevertheless, the damage seemed to have been enormous, as Gugler reported to the Allgemeine Brand-Versicherungs-Anstalt (fire insurance) a loss of 833 gulden, which was a substantial sum at this time. The presumed completion of the reconstruction of the house coincides with the decline of the neighboring workshop of Rose and his death in December 1825. It is possible that Gugler took over parts of the workshop left by Rose, since neither his widow nor his children continued the craft tradition.
Gugler's participated in 1845 at the Local Industrial Exhibition of Nuremberg, when the factory of optical and mechanical goods exhibited "53 pieces of optical instruments". The workshop quickly seemed to outgrow its small beginnings and attained the status of a small factory. Gugler created the necessary space for more workers by moving the workshop into the Gaishof-building at the Waizenstraße. The factory produced toys for the Nuremberg trading companies. Possibly among them the company of Rau & Co., who in a pattern book from 1850 depicted a magic lantern that is very reminiscent of Gugler. Johann Adam Gugler ran the factory until around 1855/56, before he handed it over to his son. The son continued the factory as Gugler's son. Johann Adam Gugler died of debilitation in the afternoon of June 20, 1860 at the age of 80.
The son probably closed the factory, however still operated a workshop at the old address Mittlere Kreuzgasse 28. Later the workshop was handed over to the third generation: Gugler, J.A. Sohn, Bes.: Wilh. Gugler, Mechanic. Whether Gugler continued to produce toys is not evident. In 1886 the grandson possibly ran a toy wholesale business as Gugler, Andreas & Co. at Dürerplatz 12 in Nuremberg.