Sunday, February 23, 2020


          “Fancy Shooting on Goat Island” announced The Advance (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, NC; 20 Oct 1911.) “Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Topperwein, the celebrated marksmen, will give an exhibition of expert and fancy shooting here on Goat Island next Monday afternoon, which everybody out to see, as no such marvelous shooting has ever been done in this section.” The exhibition was sponsored by the Adylett Bros., retail and wholesale grocers in Elizabeth City.
Adolph and Elizabeth "Plinky" Topperwein
Taken from "Texas Co-op Power
and Trapshooting Hall of Fame & Museum
Who were the Topperweins? Adolph, born in Texas and son of German immigrants, began honing his marksmanship after seeing a famous sharpshooter, William Frank “Doc” Carter perform. In 1889, he began demonstrating his expertise in minstrel shows, later joining the Orrin Brothers Circus.
In 1901 he became a representative of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. While performing in New Haven, Connecticut in 1902, he met Elizabeth “Plinky” Servaty and they were married in 1903. Elizabeth took an interest in her husband’s work and began shooting. Soon, she became part of the team. They were billed as “The Famous Topperweins.” They traveled the world exhibiting their shooting talents.
            Adolph set several records, but it was in San Antonio, during a 10-day exhibition, that he made what the San Antonio Daily Express described as “the greatest shooting exhibition ever given.” He used three 1903 Winchester .22 automatics. During that time, an associate tossed 72,500 2 ½ in. square wood blocks into the air for Adolph to shoot. During that time, he missed only 9 times. The feat took 68 ½ hours of shooting and he used all the ammunition available in the San Antonio area.

[Taken from Mouse Guns]

1903 Winchester 22
Picture from Homestead Firearms
           Plinky Topperwein died in 1945, but Adolph toured until 1951. He died in 1962.

[Texas State Historical Association,
The Advance (Elizabeth City, NC) 20 Oct 1911]

No comments:

Post a Comment