Longtime readers of this website know that February for a variety of reasons is always
Well this year we have a real barn burner to kick things off
NEW "KNAPPSTER ZEKE"
HIS AUNT MURIEL's
New York Recorder - Knapp Prints
It all started last week rather routinely.....
when my daily dose of saved searches from the unbelievable amount of stuff that folks place on E Bay 24/7 from around the globe, arrived in my Spoonytunes e mail inbox. There under NY Recorder, were a few color prints. Now being the "unofficial Knapp historian" that I am, I have seen many Recorder prints before, including some of these "lucky ones" (my term) being offered at a very modest starting bid by . In fact the very first Knapp print I ever purchased on E Bay "The Fisherman's Home " by French illustrator Eugene Delacroix, came out of the Sunday edition of Knapp's 1890's newspaper The New York Recorder.
But what led to what you are about to see on this page is the description of the merchandise and the questions posed by the seller, someone known as Zeker711 I'm paraphrasing here, but he had something along these lines in his listing: These prints were in my late aunts estate, her hobby was drawing, they came out of a newspaper known as the NY Recorder that is obviously now long gone and they have numbers on them. If anyone out there can tell me something about these, I would like to know, just so I could pass that info on to the purchaser.......
Well as I have said before I could run Bin Laden right out of his cave or whatever palace he is hold up in. Just send me in there and let me start telling him about the Knapps. He and and his little toadie will come out screaming " Please Take Us Away From That Guy" ..... and so "Mr. Knapp It All " fires off an email to this Zeker person saying that, " I believe I can answer any questions you may have about these prints as I am the historian for the gentleman who founded The New York Recorder, Joseph P. Knapp and I can tell you what the numbers on the prints mean".....
Well I received a very sincere thank you for even being interested in them from "Zeke" out in the great state of Illinois, and several cordial e mails were exchanged throughout the course of the day and early evening. I gave him my website URL with a few links too, so he would not get lost in maze of all things Mastic & Knapp & more and he could see what I had online about Knapp prints, the Recorder etc. I also mentioned to Zeke that I intended to bid on his offerings, as I thought they were very nice.
Then a Knappster Never Cease To Amaze me reply came back. It seems that Barb aka Mrs. "Zeke" is a former research librarian, who has turned her finely honed skills into the hobby of family history research and would you believe her mother's maiden name was Knapp! ..... not that Knapp is that an uncommon name, but come on now...... Zeke told me it was almost comical when I delivered the Eureka Moment to their household that Aunt Muriel's carefully preserved prints, she had collected for years, were printed by a man named Knapp to boot .... and then came the real capper... Bruce err "Zeke" told me there was no need to bid as he was pulling the auction, because he couldn't think of a better place for Aunt Muriel's prints, (all 40 - 50 of them!!!!!) to wind up.
Yowsa ! ..... like I said, what a way to kick off "Knapp Month" and what a joy to print off the first "Knappster Certificate" of 2009 send it off to a new found friend.
As I stated in yesterdays Web Glob posting "What's In A Name" I'm a little busy, so it will be some time before all of Aunt Muriel's little treasures are online for one and all to enjoy, but for now may I introduce you to some of
The Muriel Boyle Collection
"Miss Muriel Boyle"
Alexander Turney Stewart's "Marble Mansion" 5th Ave & 34th St. NYC. It was "fireproof "
Retail merchant Stewart, (1803 -1876, the EXACT same years as Mastic Beach Mogul Charles Jeffrey Smith ) was one NY City's wealthiest residents. Like The Vanderbilts, Astors, & Your Current Mayor Bloomberg. Stewart also was driving force both in spirit & $$$ behind the creation of Garden City, Long Island
THIS IS AT BROADWAY & PARK ROW
The Knapp' s Litho Firm & Their NY Recorder Office Were Both In This Neighborhood Near City Hall
SPEAKING OF CITY HALL
I was there in 2003 and it still looks like that, but it's surroundings have changed a little,
Now notice the number stuck in the sky ? How Can You Not ? Each print had a different number and if your print had the lucky one printed elsewhere in the paper you won something. I'm not sure what, perhaps merchandise from the advertisers or perhaps a bigger print umarred by a lucky number? Perhaps even a Knapp Co. Chromo litho art print? It was a promotion run off and on through the Recorder's lifespan by their circulation department. For some crazy reason and I would of loved to been able to ask J. P. Knapp (1864- 1951) and I could of, had he just held on say another 50 years past his 86th birthday, to why they placed these numbers very indiscriminately on these color photos, which we take for granted today but were quite a novelty 120 years ago. The technique that made these possible to print these colorized photographs by the thousands and give them away was that of offset 4 color printing in which Knapp and his American Lithographic Co. were some of the pioneers of. He later bought the patent for the 6 cylinder press that made color printing on newsprint even cheaper and faster. The NY Recorder was also the first newspaper to run Color Comics. Hearst and Pulitzer soon followed that with their much larger circulated competitors, New York Journal and New York World.
NOTICE THE GREAT LADY OF THE HARBOR, OUT IN THE DISTANCE?
She had only been standing there on duty for a few years when this photo was taken. Prior to that she was resting herself in pieces up in Madison Square Park awaiting funding to build her pedestal
Notice there are no wires on the very obvious phone poles ? Sky Scribbling removed by the photo retoucher / colorist
THEY ALSO REMOVED THE ROAD APPLES FROM THE STREETS !
Those are the awesome homes of both William H. and William K. Vanderbilt In The Foreground. The Vanderbilt mansions were bona fide NY City tourist attractions for years, even though you could not go inside them. Somewhat ironically to me is the fact that J. P. Knapp's Collier's Office Building was built on the site of the Vanderbilt mansions in 1949. And last but not least J. P. himself left the Big Apple for good when they held his funeral service in St. Thomas (the closer of those two churches ) on Feb 2 ,1951
LONG BEFORE WOODY ALLEN'S BRIGHTON BEACH MEMORIES
BOWLING GREEN THE VERY FIRST PARK IN THE BIG APPLE DATES BACK TO 1686
Whew.... time out ...my head hurts....
let's fire up this 1947 Belmont & tune in that other kid from Queens, to sing us a tune .... oy!
GEE I FEEL BETTER NOW.... HOW ABOUT YOU?
And Now Before We Leave A Word From Our Sponsor ... Mr. Knapp
FROM 1891 THE RECORDER'S FIRST YEAR
The Spooner Collection
THIS IS WHERE THESE PRINTS WERE PRODUCED WELL OVER A CENTURY AGO FROM 1891 - 1896
THE JOSEPH P. KNAPP COMPANY
page from King's "Handbook of the United States
LINKS TO SOME OTHER "KNAPP MONTHS" THROUGH THE YEARS
There are more too where these came from