Khronicling Knutsen’s Kondition

Since you folks seem to be egging me on with the “K” gags…

…this is no laughing matter, however.

It seems that Chris struggled for 15 years with rheumatism, all during the start-up and heyday of his prolific period of harp guitar designing and building.

This rare and curious advertisement from September 16, 1908 – discovered during my first search session on the wonderful Chronicling America project – for a pair of Seattle osteopathic physicians includes a testimonial from not only Chris Knutson (sic, or “spelling optional”?), but from Anna and one of the daughters, who were cured of “female weaknesses.”  I won’t even try to speculate on that last bit.

Note how the copywriter mistakes Chris’ harp-guitars for “harps” and “guitars”…(interesting to see that mandolins are mentioned in 1908….).

“Cured” or not, I imagine that Knutsen’s pain likely persisted to some extent for his entire career.  Did the later move to sunny L.A. help?  It makes me respect and admire him all the more.

  1. Darrell Says:

    Fascinating! One of the things I speculate on (in my… you know) is why Chris moves to Echo Park. One compelling reason is it’s right next to the famous Barlow Respiratory Hospital. California was well known in those days as a place to move for health reasons, and Barlow was one of the places to go to recuperate. The Echo Park Historical Society actually holds its meetings in Barlow’s main hall, which is decorated with all kinds of equipment and photos from the old days. It is still a functioning hospital, a relic from the last century still around in the shadow of Dodger Stadium. Unfortunately for me, I have been unable to crack their medical records department (most likely because I am not a relative, so it’s harder for me to inquire). I have always wondered whether Chris (and after reading this, maybe even Anna and the kids) or Winnifred Hurtt (Knutsen’s sister) may have been patients there.

    Chris and Anna’s last days must’ve been grim – they died within days of each other.

  2. Anthony Powell Says:

    fascinating indeed,
    what a trooper. makes me think again about the modern treatment of Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.

  3. Benoit Says:

    I “K”now it’s Nutsen!

  4. sb Says:

    That’s because you’re a “Nut”, Ben! See you soon.


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