NGD My Grandfather's 1st guitar

Jack Clayton

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I just got this in the mail from my parents who found it clearing out my grandparents' estate. My grandfather bought it a few years before he was drafted in WWII, but I don't have precise dates on that. Most likely late thirties.

There is no information on the headstock, or in the sound hole, but some cursory googling of "red foley smooth trailin' guitar" yields very sparse results. It was a low cost beginner guitar that sold in the Sears Roebuck catalog in the late thirties/early forties.

Were I to make a (barely) educated guess as to the manufacturer I'd say it was most likely Harmony of New York. But that's just a guess.

It appears to have minimal collector value (not that I'd ever sell it) but I'd just love to know more about it. Does anyone have any info they'd be willing to share?

Thanks
 

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bsman

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I think Regal made those in the mid-40s, but I am not confident of that.

I would truly love to play it side-by-side with my Waterloo, because I think those regals and such are exactly the sort of thing the Waterloos were made as an homage to.
 

Freeman Keller

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There were many manufacturers of the so called "cowboy guitars" during the 1030's - certainly Harmony was one of them - and many were sold thru Sears. Other manufactures include Regal, Kay and others. Often the manufacturer did not put a label on them but the store might have.

Many of the cowboy guitars were made of birch, almost all had minimal ladder bracing. The pick guard on yours is interesting, I would like to see more pictures. It looks to be in fairly good condition - I'm sure it needs a reset which will be expensive but will make it more or less playable (and actually increases its value). Be careful about any other modifications or "repairs" - as you say it will never be valuable except to you and your family.
 

charlie chitlin

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check out vintagebluesguitars.com
He loves rehabbing/repairing/whatever funky old acoustics.
Nice guy and very knowledgeable.
 

Wrighty

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I just got this in the mail from my parents who found it clearing out my grandparents' estate. My grandfather bought it a few years before he was drafted in WWII, but I don't have precise dates on that. Most likely late thirties.

There is no information on the headstock, or in the sound hole, but some cursory googling of "red foley smooth trailin' guitar" yields very sparse results. It was a low cost beginner guitar that sold in the Sears Roebuck catalog in the late thirties/early forties.

Were I to make a (barely) educated guess as to the manufacturer I'd say it was most likely Harmony of New York. But that's just a guess.

It appears to have minimal collector value (not that I'd ever sell it) but I'd just love to know more about it. Does anyone have any info they'd be willing to share?

Thanks


That guitar, what that guitar represents, is beyond words. Play it, it will sound amazing, I’m not being sarcastic when I say ‘it’s stacked full of mojo’.
 

Jack Clayton

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Jack Clayton

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+1 on that pickguard! Strings look ancient - original?
They likely are. It's definitely gonna be a project to get it playing again. The neck has collapsed just enough that it's not really playable as is. In gonna have to take it in to a luthier and see what the cost will be of getting it playable again. Worst case scenario I can make it work as a slide guitar.
 




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