Elizabeth “Plinky” Toepperwein

January 23, 1882
New Haven, Connecticut

  • 1882 Elizabeth Servaty born in New Haven
  • 1902 employee at the Winchester factory in New Haven
  •  met Adolph (Ad) Toepperwein
    – Americanized as the “Topperweins”
    – he was  sales rep and exhibition shooter for the Winchester
  • 1903 They married
  • 1904 son Lawrence  was born
  • Ad gave Elizabeth her first shooting lessons and discovered that she was a “natural.”
  • After shooting a tin can, which made a “plinking” sound. Elizabeth exclaimed, “I plinked it”
    – first to coin this phrase?
  • Ad and Plinky performed for forty years
  • first woman in the United States to qualify as a national marksman with the military rifle
  •  first woman to break 100 straight targets at trapshooting
    –  she repeated this more than 200 times
    – often with a twelve-gauge Winchester model 97 pump
  • held the world endurance trapshooting record of 1,952 of 2,000 targets in five hours and twenty minutes
  • 1940 son Lawrence died at the age of thirty-six
  • 1943  last tour
  • January 27, 1945 “Plinky” Toepperwein died
  • 1969 inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame in Vandalia, Ohio

Annie Oakley once said to Plinky, “Mrs. Top . . . you’re the greatest shot I’ve ever seen.”




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