JOE KNAPP CLUB
One thing I've noticed about several Knapp Co. (1899-1929) prints is that they seem to portray a lot of Knapp family interests. Horses, Dogs, Boating, Golfing, etc. You'll see them sprinkled about this website illustrating my points of " art imitating Knapp life". This print "Over The Top" stock number 712-2 was available from the Knapp Co. the art division of American Lithographic, for calendars, blotters, advertising etc. Of all the ones I've seen, this print seems to really hit the nail on the head in several ways. To call Joseph P. Knapp a "duck hunting enthusiast" would be the understatement of the century (19th or 20th). He founded the organization "More Game Birds In America" in 1929 which became "Ducks Unlimited". In the 1930s he spent 9 months of the year at his hunting lodges in Lew Beach, NY, Mackey Island, North Carolina, and Canada. His son Joseph F. "Dodi" also shared his fathers interests and passions for hunting, fishing and recreation. He took early retirement in 1929 at age 37 to pursue them. In fact the artist of "Over The Top" may of been commissioned or inspired by a photo or two of the father and son. (notice the headgear on both in the painting) Then take a look at this photo of J. P. Knapp sitting in a duck blind and this unconfirmed photo of his son J. F. Knapp.
UPDATE 2005 : I NOW HAVE CONFIRMED INFO* THAT THE GENTLEMAN IN THE FEDORA IS NOT JOSEPH F. KNAPP aka Dodie Knapp...IT IS IN FACT Dodie's longtime friend, personal secretery and legal counsel Edward A. Kiely esq
*confirmed by a Knapp Family member
I don't know if the Joe Knapp Club ever amounted to more than just a bunch of business cronies, who were hunting buddies. However I've been wrong before so many times about this Knapp family, so lets just say anything is and was possible. After all J. P. leased the Connecticut (Carmen's) River from the Smith family in the 1890's, just to go hunting. They could afford to be as formal or informal as they wanted to. If there is anyone out there who has seen anything or knows anything about the Joe Knapp Club or custom A. H. Fox of Philadelphia guns , please get in touch.
Last October I received a flurry of e mails from a Bill Murphy, regarding a Joe Knapp Club shotgun he had came into possession of. It was owned by a Detroit area millionaire Lester Ruwe. Bill said it was a Winchester and dated it to be circa 1930's. The fact that there were now two manufacturers of these guns led me to believe there may of been more members of the Joe Knapp Club than I thought. Of course I was very eager to see it and although Bill said he would send me some photos of it, they did not arrive until June 5 2004 and you can see them here
Then about two weeks ago I got an e mail from Mr. James E. Fender in New Hampshire. He too had a Joe Knapp Club model and this one was an A. H. Fox! Well today photos of Jim's Super Fox arrived. They were taken by gun stockmaker David Travallion. Jim has written a feature article on The Super Fox and the Joe Knapp Club that will be forthcoming in a 2004 issue af "Shooting Sportsman" magazine.