After a long odyssey, this bookbinder’s toolkit has also returned to its place of origin. It belonged to Gabriel Amson, who was born on June 14, 1819 in the building that stood here in Badgasse number 3 at the time.
Gabriel Amson was one of hundreds of thousands of people who went in search of a better life abroad during the 19th century – and found one.
But before that, he trained as a bookbinder in Weikersheim with these tools. He subsequently emigrated to France, where he set up a leatherware factory that soon had several branches in the area around Paris. For generations, the toolkit from Gabriel’s years as an apprentice hung in the company’s executive office.
Gabriel’s grandson, Gaston Amson, ran the company until after World War Two. As a young man, he was keen on fencing and even won several medals for France at the Olympic Games in 1920 and 1928.
The leatherware factory was family-owned until the 1970s. The family always kept the memory of its founding father Gabriel alive. In 2002, when Philippe Amson, Gabriel’s great-great-grandson, was tracing his ancestry, he contacted Creglingen’s town archive. During his first visit to Creglingen, he and his wife Roswitha discovered the Jewish Museum, which considers itself fortunate to have a former Creglingen resident’s toolkit on display. Along with other Amson family mementoes, it’s been on show since 2005.
Foto: © Martin Heuwinkel