Furniture design and age dating
At the very height of its greatest popularity and use, the death knell of the Knapp joint was being sounded by a new movement afoot in the furniture-design industry, and it had nothing to do with the soundness or the economy of the joint.Like so many things, its demise turned on sentiment.
Rotary saws were on the horizon, and all nails were no longer made one at a time by a blacksmith.Furniture refers to movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating (e.g., chairs, stools, and sofas), eating (tables), and sleeping (e.g., beds).Furniture is also used to hold objects at a convenient height for work (as horizontal surfaces above the ground, such as tables and desks), or to store things (e.g., cupboards and shelves).It can be made from many materials, including metal, plastic, and wood.Furniture can be made using a variety of woodworking joints which often reflect the local culture.At about the same time, machinery that did simulate the handmade dovetail was perfected, and by 1900, the Knapp joint had almost completely disappeared from the American furniture scene.
So now you know that a piece of antique furniture with those odd little drawer joints was made between 1871 and around 1905 without a doubt.
Some progress had been made by the use of jigs to help guide the hand-powered saws in their cutting, but essentially, the dovetail was the last holdout of handwork in a machine era.
The perfect Knapp joint looks like this, an obviously machine-made feature that looks nothing like drawer joinery before or since.
People have been using natural objects, such as tree stumps, rocks and moss, as furniture since the beginning of human civilisation.
Archaeological research shows that from around 30,000 years ago, people began constructing and carving their own furniture, using wood, stone, and animal bones.
The joint he came up with has several colloquial names—scallop and dowel, pin and scallop, half-moon—and all describe the new joint, which looks like a peg in a half-circle on the side of a drawer.