Knutsen Harp Guitar  

This circa 1920s photo of a dashing gentleman was submitted by the grandson, who still has the c.1900 instrument, an interesting variation with friction tuners.  He writes:  

"My Grandfather, Paul Mathias  Pihlman was born in Vassa, Finland January 29th, 1867. I don't know much about the family in Finland - if he had siblings or others that stayed behind when he came to America in 1893 and entered through Ellis Island. My Grandmother and first born son Paul followed three years later.  It is said, being a sailor, he worked on ships on the Great Lakes and within a few years bought 80 acres near Lake Nebagemon, WI, built a very nice log home which still stands today, raised 7 children, and lived a very simple life, poor, and in hard times. My  Grandfather died in 1933, Grandmother in 1936 and most of the children including my Father passed on in their 50's. Only one, the baby of the family lived a long life - born in 1900 the year the house was built and passed on at age 85, the only family member that didn't smoke and drink.

"I remember my Father telling me that his Dad was a sailor on the Great Lakes in the 20's, that he was in a late November shipwreck near Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior where some of the crew drowned, some froze to death, and my Grandfather was injured somehow that left him crippled for the rest of his life. My Father told me the guitar was bought for him by the family - where they bought it, I'm not sure.  It may have been used or ordered new.  My Father told me this gift  was intended to  replace some of the inactivity caused by his injury and inability to do much.  Grandfather was active in the church and social gatherings as a few photographs show, and he evidently played this guitar a lot.

"The guitar moved from the farm in Wisconsin in the 40's to our home in Duluth, MN and from there to a farm south of Duluth in the 50's and I took possession of it in the 60's. It has a case in poor condition that kept the guitar as good as it is."

hgt39.jpg (23442 bytes) pihlman-pihlman.jpg (59435 bytes)

Click on picture to enlarge
(images copyright D. Pihlman)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HGT39

                 Category

Tacoma Harp Guitars

                 Body Style

"Symphony"

                 Current or last known owner

D. Pihlman

              Year (approx)

1898-1901

                 Label

unknown

                 Courses / Strings

11 course: 6 strings on neck, 5 bass

                 Frets

unknown
                 Scale length unknown
                 Neck Joint unknown

Woods

Top

unknown

Back & Sides

unknown

Neck

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Bridge

unknown
Headstock veneer unknown

Binding, trim

Top

unknown

Back

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Headstock(s)

unknown
Soundhole unknown

                 Inlay

unknown

                 Pickguard

unknown

                 Comments

 

 

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