Knapp Dowel Joints - (Furniture)

TheAntiqueTrade.co.uk Glossary of Antique Terms K

Knapp Dowel Joints - (Furniture) Handmade dovetail joints slowed the process of making furniture down considerably and most cabinetmakers had trouble keeping up with the demand for furniture. In the age of technology many inventors were hard at work on the problem. In the 1860s and most concentrated on trying to duplicate the hand made dovetail using a machine. Mr. Charles B. Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin did some creative thinking and solved the problem not by duplicating the dovetail joint but by inventing another type of joint entirely. The Knapp Joint was as strong as the dovetail and could be made by machinery. The joint he came up with has several colloquial names - scallop and dowel, pin and scallop, half moon - and all described the new joint which looks like a peg in a half circle on the side of a drawer. Charles B. Knapp patented his first joint making machine in 1867. In 1870, he sold the rights to an improved version of the patented machine to a group of investors who formed the Knapp Dovetailing Company in Northampton, Massachusetts. Finding this type of joint on a drawer makes it very easy to date the piece of furniture. The Knapp Joint was in use from 1870 until 1900. The Colonial Revival, the fact that the machines were hard to maintain and the invention of a machine that could duplicate dovetail joint made the Knapp Joint obsolete by 1900.

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