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Harmony was one of the most successful guitar makers in the USA, manufacturing most all of their guitars in Chicago during the peak years in the mid s. They made many types of stringed instruments, including ukuleles, acoustic and electric guitars, and violins. Founded in by Wilhelm Schultz a German immigrant from Hamburg. In their day, they made more guitars than all the other guitar makers combined. They made different models, for each style of guitar popular during their history. Wilhelm Schultz, founder of Harmony on left with factory worker and manager. Wilhelm J.
One of the earliest labels 20's - 30's. The last of the Chicago labels.
Harmony ukulele dating
A couple of visions in green The oft-repeated Palm Tree motif. Photos: Elderly Instruments.
Some variations on the "Diamond H" theme. Very early 20's - 30's? In the symmetrical decal described, just above, in the cream colored field, below "Harmony" - "made in the U. The design of the decal reminds one of a watermelon seed different color of course exiting stage left at great speed. Very modern. Another stenciled wonder I've been told that this model was marketed to school music programs I guess that would explain the notes. The Euterpe and Troubadours were offered until Harmony guitars on the lower end, Schmidt guitars had the upper end.
This arrangement was offered for decades. InSears adapted the name Supertone for its musical instruments also using this name for record players and records they sold.
And this was used on an almost identical series of guitars! By Harmony was the first large scale ukulele builder. Sears, Roebuck and Co. At the time Harmony was led by Joe Kraus, who was chairman until InHarmony introduced the first of many Roy Smeck models, and went on to become the largest producer in the U. They sol pieces in an inincluding various models of guitars, banjos, and mandolins.
- Gold oval - red and white border with stylized garland at top Black printing - "HARMONY" - "MADE BY THE HARMONY COMPANY" - "CHICAGO. U.S.A." Late 40's (perhaps) has black lettering against gold back ground, with no border. The Harmony Company was founded in by Wilhelm Schultz, (a former employee of Lyon & Healy) In , it was bought by Sears, Roebuck and Co., which wanted to corner the Ukulele market, (Sears had first included Ukuleles in its catalogue), and went on to become the largest producer of stringed instruments in the US, selling some , pieces in an in , including all.
In the late s, Harmony began making violins again after a 19 year hiatus. They also bought brand names from the bankrupt Oscar Schmidt Co. These instruments were still mostly sold through big mail order catalogs like Sears Roebuck Silvertone or Montgomery Ward Airline making them easily accessible to everyone.
These were the days way before the Internet, and Reverb. Plus before Asian imports were available.
Many towns in America did not have a music store nearby. Harmony supplied many of the big mail order catalogs through the years which were the same Harmony-made instruments except for the label in most all cases.
It is not unusual to see the same vintage Harmony guitar model with different branding. However they have their own unique tone and vintage vibe. Harmony was, especially in the early days, capable of turning out guitars with pretty good workmanship.
Harmony built guitars were many times a players first instrument. However, there are more than nostalgic reasons to be interested in Harmony guitars.
Inafter Kraus had a conflict with management, he left, but then bought enough stock to restart the company independently. Early s Harmony Rocket with bolt on neck. Between an the Chicago firm mass-produced about ten million guitars. The company reduced their output over the years, later focusing on student models sold through JCPenney.
Note that some of the guitars sold in the Sears and Wards catalog where also manufactured by Valco and Kay companies. Valco manufactured Spanish acoustic guitars, metal-bodied resonator guitars, electric lap steel guitars, and vacuum tube amplifiers under a variety of brand names including Supro, Airline, Oahu, and National.
They also made amplifiers under contract for several other companies such as Gretsch, Harmony, and Kay. In the s they began producing solid body electric guitars.
Kay offered their first electric guitar in -five years after the Rickenbacker Frying pan, and the same year as the Gibson ES Valco merged with Kay Musical Instrument Company inhowever the merged company quickly went out of business in because of financial difficulties.
Vintage Old Roy Smeck Mahogany Soprano Ukulele - Ukelele. $ shipping. Ending Mar 1 at PM PST. Harmony Johnny Marvin Professional Tenor Concert Ukulele w/ Airplane Bridge. $ shipping. Vintage Harmony Soprano Ukulele 's USA. $ shipping. 's Roy Smeck by Harmony Soprano Mahogany Ukulele Plays and sounds Great. By Harmony was the first large scale ukulele builder. Sears, Roebuck and Co. purchased Harmony in to corner the ukulele market. At the time Harmony was led by Joe Kraus, who was chairman until In , Harmony introduced the first of many Roy Smeck models, and went on to become the largest producer in the U.S. Vintage s Kamaka Gold Label Handmade Hawaiian Ukulele. Vintage 's Harmony Soprano Ukulele! All Mahogany with Peg Tuners! Nice mahogany pre-war soprano Ukulele - So. Music Co. - PRICE CUT!! Vintage s Kamaka Gold Label Handmade Hawaiian Ukulele. - Vintage s Kamaka Gold Label Handmade Hawaiian Ukulele.
Harmony guitars, although they were mainly marketed to beginners, also built some guitars to attract professional players. Note that all Harmony guitars these were mass produced. Inexpensive rock and roll machines.
Harmony produced so many different models under various brand names. Harmony Broadway and Harmony Sovereign Patrician.
The lower end models were usually made of birch and have the binding painted on. Instead of inlaid fret markers, the markers were merely painted in the appropriate places.
The tailpieces on some of the lower end models were made of pressed metal.
Harmony Guitar Identification
Some have the tailpieces or pick guards screwed into the wood. The necks on many of the Harmony guitars did not have adjustable truss rods. Old DeArmond single-coil pickups gracing the solids and Rocket thin lines which can sound great into a cranked up amp.
The pickups on almost all Harmony electric guitars and basses were manufactured by Rowe Industries Inc. Many of the instrument amplifiers badged with the Harmony name were manufactured by Sound Projects Company of Cicero, Illinois.
The Harmony solid body electrics in the late s and early s were mainly aimed at the beginner market with names such as Stratotone and BobKat models. The better instruments were the thin line hollow body electric guitars such as the Harmony Rocket or H Some models even had up to three DeArmond pickups each with individual volume and tone controls.
Harmony guitars generally did not have the quality of Gretsch and Gibson. For the money these were quite nice instrument and have their own unique sound due to the way they were build and the pickups they used.
Stan Gee demos vintage Harmony Concert Ukulele
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