Posted on January 12, 2010March 3, 2022 by Dale Phillips Review: From Harp Guitars to the New Hawaiian Family: Chris J. Knutsen, History and Development of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar by George T. Noe and Daniel L. Most Review: From Harp Guitars to the New Hawaiian Family: Chris J. Knutsen, History and Development of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar by George T. Noe and Daniel L. Most Reviewed by Jonathon Peterson Originally published in American Lutherie #62, 2000 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Six, 2013 From Harp Guitars to the New Hawaiian Family: Chris J. Knutsen, History and Development of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar George T. Noe and Daniel L. Most Noe Enterprises, 1999 ISBN 978-0967483306 The first time I ever saw a harp guitar, I was smitten. It was made by a man named Chris Knutsen in the early 1900s in my hometown, Tacoma, Washington. I was so infatuated and curious that, when I began branching out from guitar repair into guitar-building-and-repair journalism, I did some research and wrote a couple of articles about harp guitars (American Lutherie #29 and #34; and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three). At the time I was doing that research, I was still very active as a repairman, and one day a guy walks into my shop with a Viennese-looking harp guitar with six sub-bass strings. His name was Dan Most, and he shared my fascination. In fact, he had the bug worse than I did. The culmination of his interest is this book, which he co-wrote with George Noe. These guys did their homework. Dan has told me that their basic approach was to disregard conventional attitudes and rumors about these instruments and their maker, and look for hard evidence so that they could reach their own conclusions. Their investigation took more than six years. In the book’s preface the authors write, “We have spent countless hours in libraries, museums, the National Archives, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and visiting all of the addresses known to us as Knutsen’s. We have immersed ourselves in immigration records, census records, city directories, books, magazines, and newspapers. As we progressed, each new clue resulted in facts falling into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, permitting us to reconstruct the events of Knutsen’s life in the 20th century.” George Noe’s background is as a patent attorney, so researching public records for evidence of the history of design development is right up his alley. Dan is a luthier and collector of Knutsen instruments, with lots of experience in their repair and restoration. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.