Corbin Mulvihill & Jenna Beaupre
Tobias Mayer, full name Johann Tobias Mayer, was born February 17, 1723 in Marbach, Germany. Mayer was raised in Esslingen in poor conditions. There were 6 children within the family, including Tobias. His father was a hardworking water engineer. It was his job to construct a suitable channel for the supply of drinking water to a small castle near Esslingen. When his father was appointed as an inspector and foreman he was to expand his knowledge of the machines and water
engineering by visiting neighboring places. He would sketch the machines he saw on his voyage. Tobias was intrigued by his father’s work which had sparked his interest in drawing.
“Urged by the desire to copy his father’s work, the young Tobias plagued his mother to provide him with pen, paper, and ink and began to draw objects which were within his own understanding.” After taking notice to Tobias’ interest in drawing and learning, his father encouraged him by giving him picture books for him to copy. Tobias would eventually grow tired of drawing the same illustrations time and time again so he had begun to copy the capitalized letters at the beginning of each paragraph. Doing so, he taught himself how to write. From there he learned to write full words, and with his father’s help he eventually learned to read. Tobias had a desire to learn from an early age.
When his father passed away, his mother was left with the children alone. Tobias had personally connected with a supporter of the family affairs; this gentleman took Tobias into his home and had showed a great interest in his education. The man had also been aware of Tobias’ interest in drawing; he had then helped arrange for Tobias to become an apprentice for a local artist. This man had too passed away. It was around this time when Tobias had made friends with a local shoemaker.