product types: 

  • ukuleles
  • acoustic guitars
  • lap steel guitars


Chris Knutsen was born in Norway in 1862 as Johan Christian Kammen. His family emigrated to Minnesota when he was 3. He moved to Port Townsend in Washington State in 1895, where he began patenting unusual harp guitar designs. Knutsen started building Hawaiian steel guitars as early as 1908 - and was the first builder in mainland USA to do so. Most of the guitars made by Knutsen have spruce tops with lateral or diagonal bracing on the back. Many show signs of his eccentric building skills - like necks fixed with metal brackets and seams joined with dressmaker's tape. In 1914 he moved to Los Angeles, just as the Panama-California International Exposition ignited the Hawaiian music craze in the mainland United States. Accordingly, Knutsen began to produce harp ukuleles and Hawaiian guitars to meet the new demand. He died in Los Angeles in 1930.

Source: Harp Guitars - Chris Knutsen


Chris Knutsen Port Townsend , WA
United States
Washington US