My Dad's Harmony archtop was strung with Black Diamond steel strings for guitar, set #754. The set came in a cardboard box with each string in its own paper sleeve, but you could also buy the strings individually. There wan't a guitar store in the small Texas town I lived in, but you could buy Black Diamond strings at the local five and dime. I don't know exactly what gauge the strings were, but they had to be at least mediums (13s or better). I didn't know for the first several months that the floating bridge was adjustable, so I played those fat strings at a mile high action. I practiced every day in the summer until my fingers bled. And like you, I just wanted to play songs. I just flailed away on my own with hamfistedness, brute strength and awkwardness. I didn't take lessons, never studied theory. I still can't read music. Every now and again, someone will ask me if I teach guitar lessons. I always reply, "No, you need an instructor that knows what he's doing."