S. Nathaniel Adams

Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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About A running list of obscure luthiers, repairman, dealers, and musical instrument manufacturing adjacent individuals who don't necess...

About

A running list of obscure luthiers, repairman, dealers, and musical instrument manufacturing adjacent individuals who don't necessitate individual pages. These names appear on Mugwumps list of American manufacturers but I hope to provide a little more detail

Ohio

John Church

John W Gillespie

Lived in Akron. Patented US1728754 for a Banjo Ukulele in 1927. He was a machinist at a 'rubber works'

Charles C Henlein

Probably a misspelling of the guy below

Charles F Henery

J R Holcomb

James R Holcomb sold school and music supplies in the late 1800s

Walter S Holloway

Patented an autoharp in 1908, US975865

William L Hobill

William Hobill was an English music dealer who lived in Elyria, Ohio. He sold pianos

John Henry Holtvoight

1903 Illustration of Holtvoight and his wife
Image Credit: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~ohmontgs/newspapers/ddn_holtvoigt.html

John Holtvoight was a German patternmaker who lived in Dayton, Ohio. He was born in 1830 and died in 1913.

In 1895 he patented US539056 which was a guitar neck joint where the fingerboard floated above the body

Holtvoight's occupations according to the Dayton City Directory:
  • 1885 - Foreman pattern maker
  • 1894 - Worked as a pattern maker
  • 1896 - Musical Instrument Maker
  • 1900 - Listed under the Musical Instrument category
  • 1901 - ""
  • 1903 - ""
  • 1907 - Musical Instrument Manufacturer
  • 1910 - Listed under the Musical Instrument category
  • 1911 - ""
Census Records
  • 1900 - Listed occupation as a pattern maker
  • 1910 - Listed occupation as pattern maker working "at home"

Howard Eugene Wurlitzer

Eldest son of Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer and heir to the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, Howard was born September 5th, 1871 in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Howard joined the Wurlitzer Company in 1889 and by 1898 was Vice President. In the 1900 census he listed his occupation as a manufacturer of musical instruments. In the 1910 census he described his work as being a merchant of musical instruments and a year later he was President of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company.

His name appears on some labels of instruments sold by Wurlitzer. The exact origins of those instruments is unclear to me. In 1908, Wurlitzer purchased the factory of Harry J. Flower which I believe was partnered with Andrew Groehsl

George Jaberg

George Jaberg Music Co in Cincinnati 

John Klueber

In 1886, John Klueber patented US337337A, a wood tailpiece

William M Mcallip

I cannot find anything on him

Vincent Moir

Vincent Moir was a metal worker, I covered him in my article on Safe-Ti-String Tuners

Frank Mustill

In 1886, he patented a banjo US350693

In 1899, Frank worked at a cigar box factory and was also a musician in Akron, Ohio


About Edward C. Brownson was born August 25, 1863 in New York City to Walter and Alice Brownson. The family did not settle in New York but o...

About

Edward C. Brownson was born August 25, 1863 in New York City to Walter and Alice Brownson. The family did not settle in New York but over the coming years moved to Ohio, St. Louis, Missouri, and finally back to Ohio. His father worked in the railroad industry and his mother kept house. He had three siblings: an older brother George, older sister Irene, and younger sister Grace. Edward also took odd jobs, he worked as a printer while the family lived in St. Louis.

I am not certain of how and when Edward became interested in manufacturing musical instruments as it was often a family trade. If your father was a violin builder, there was a good chance you'd learn too.

The earliest mention of his foray into lutherie is from the 1895 Toledo City Directory. Edward was listed as a guitar maker living at 632 Hicks Street. Hicks Street is no more but through the Ohio Web Library I was able to find it in an old Sanborn fire insurance map. I held that map up to a modern Toledo map and determined that Palmwood Avenue is the current name of Hicks Street. It was a two storyframe dwelling with a back room and porch as well as a small shed at the rear of the property. The house was owned by Edward's father, Walter, and he lived there until ____. Walter was an interesting figure, he ran a company called the Electro-Chemical Ring Company from about 1900 until his death. More on that later.


1895 Toledo City Directory
Brownson's residence on Hicks Street from an 1895 Sanborn map
Image Credit: OAKS - Kent State University
Brownson's home on 632 Palmwood Avenue c. 2011
Image Credit: Google Maps

Brownson & Beals (1897 - 1899)

Folkway Music listed a guitar labeled "The Brownson" which had a paper label in splendid condition. It mentions "guitars, mandolins, & harp guitars" being manufactured by "Brownson & Beals" with their office at 632 Hicks Street.Guitar Works Ltd, in their 2021 Youtube video of their 1907 Brownson, shared their research and noted that Beals referred to Elmer W. Beals, a piano finisher. 

I learned that Beals grew up in Detroit, Michigan and indeed worked as a piano finisher [3]. This title was likely referring to the job of carefully french polishing completed pianos in preparation for their sale. It is a delicate skill and one that requires an eye for detail and muscular endurance. He moved to Toledo in 1896 and by 1897 had gone into business with Brownson and moved into his house [4][5]. But by 1899 Beals had moved back to Detroit and later founded Beals & Co, a firm I have not yet researched [6][7]. 

Image Credit: Folkway Music

Image Credit: Folkway Music

The bottom left of the label says "Factory Cor. Wells & Washington Sts" which is on the opposite diagonal corner of the block that Brownson's house was located at. The factory did not exist in 1895 when the Sanborn map company charted the block but there was four parcels that sat undeveloped. The exact address of the factory and what it looked like is unknown but I'm surprised they managed to build a manufacturing structure in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Here is the corner of Wells and Washington c.1895

Corner of Wells and Washington
Image Credit: OAKS - Kent State University


Brownson & Grosswiller (1900-1901)

After the departure of Beals, Brownson went into business with another as seen in the 1900 Toledo city directory. His new partner was Clarence Grosswiller and their firm, aptly named "Brownson & Grosswiller" was still based out of 632 Hicks Street. Clarence was 16, nearly twenty years younger than Brownson, and fresh out of school. Unlike Beals, he remained at his parents' home and did not move to Hicks Street [11].

1900 Toledo City Directory [10]

1900 Toledo City Directory [10]

Evidently this partnership fell apart as the 1901 city directory lists Edward as a photographer at The Spitzer Building and Clarence as a clerk at his father's plumbing supply wholesaler. Clarence would later go on to become the Vice President of his father's company before his tragic death in 1911.

Independent Builds (1901-1908?)

Edward continued to work as a photographer and lived with his parents as they moved from Hicks Street to 13th Street around 1902 [12]. 

Guitar Works Ltd came into the possession of this 1907 Brownson jumbo guitar which is a sharp departure from his work as Brownson & Beals. Its unusual size and quirky appointments wouldn't look out of place on a Joseph Bohmann guitar but are surprising for this small builder. The guitar is covered in intricate pearl inlays on every fret position as well as precisely cut abalone triangles binding the top and soundhole rosette. The neck is a wild 15-piece laminate of maple and walnut and the mahogany body has a huge 17" lower bout. 

The attribution for this instrument is penciled onto the top and explains that the guitar was started in May of 1903 and finished in December of 1907. We might explain this length of time by the level of detail in the instrument, especially if he continued to produce others, as well as his limited time working as a photographer. This guitar would've been his magnum opus 

Image Credit: Reverb - Guitar Works Ltd

This guitar needs new tuners, stat
Image Credit: Reverb - Guitar Works Ltd



Electro-Chemical Ring Co. (1908-?)

In 1908, Edward left his job as a photographer and joined his father's business venture at 15th and Jefferson in downtown Toledo. Walter had proclaimed himself to be a 'medical electrician' and produced rings which they claimed could cure diseases caused "by acid in the blood". Seriously. Walter died in 1919 and left the business to Edward who continued to list himself as the proprietor of the business all the way up until the 1930 Federal census despite the company last appearing in the City Directory in 1920. 
1897 description of Walter's company from
"Toledo. Its motto: ambition, preseverance and public spirit" [13]

Image Credit: Bibliophagist


Later Life

Edward Brownson retired out to Kearney, Michigan at an unknown date but he appears in the 1950 census as living in that area. Once again he surprises us as he is incarcerated at the time of the census and I am unable to figure out what he did. He died on August 10th, 1950 while in prison [8][9]

Sources

[1] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/277636021:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=488211a4013c9ef8d226bfc5907cf85c&_phsrc=OTJ477&_phstart=successSource
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/279377035:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=488211a4013c9ef8d226bfc5907cf85c&_phsrc=OTJ477&_phstart=successSource
[3] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/425507973:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=846998b3824b713e07dd1ee1814863ea&_phsrc=OTJ480&_phstart=successSource
[4] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/279377035:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=488211a4013c9ef8d226bfc5907cf85c&_phsrc=OTJ477&_phstart=successSource
[5] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/277636021:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=488211a4013c9ef8d226bfc5907cf85c&_phsrc=OTJ477&_phstart=successSource
[6] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/420212565:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=846998b3824b713e07dd1ee1814863ea&_phsrc=OTJ480&_phstart=successSource
[7] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/443626355:2469?tid=&pid=&queryId=846998b3824b713e07dd1ee1814863ea&_phsrc=OTJ480&_phstart=successSource
[8] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/62308/images/43290879-Michigan-092782-0020?pId=174999306
[9] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60872&h=1233291&ssrc=pt&tid=182251037&pid=312385833811&usePUB=true
[10] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2469/images/4065229?pId=1107502164
[11] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/45565919:7602?tid=&pid=&queryId=5843f6a20dca0d5edbb7f5d4aa3408e8&_phsrc=OTJ533&_phstart=successSource
[12] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/303120198:2469?tid=182251037&pid=312385833811&queryId=191137d84f72be79f1874627a7a0c385&_phsrc=OTJ564&_phstart=successSource
[13] https://www.ohiomemory.org/digital/collection/p16007coll33/id/77906/rec/2







  Mandriola pictured 1903 Oscar Schmidt Advertisement in The American Federationist Image Source: [1] History The Mandriola is a 3 course ma...

 

Mandriola pictured
1903 Oscar Schmidt Advertisement in The American Federationist
Image Source: [1]

History

The Mandriola is a 3 course mandolin which has twelve strings instead of the typical eight. Where you would expect two strings per note on a mandolin, the mandriola has three [2]. It can be tuned in the normal mandolin fashion, with the each additional D, A, and E string tuned an octave down, or in any octave configuration one might try. I've seen a few people on the internet reference different ways of tuning the Mandriola. Not to be confused with the Tricordia which is a Mexican folk instrument strung in a similar fashion.

The Mandriola was not built in the same numbers as its 8 string relative and most of the examples I find on the internet appear to be German or European in origin. Oscar Schmidt appears to be the most pervasive American builder of 12 string mandolins and they only produced them in the bowlback style. Vintage mandriolas do not appear to command a higher premium than their mandolin contemporaries but there is a small market for them and they are worth preserving. 

Jim Garber of the Mandolin Cafe website compiled a list of American mandriola manufacturers that is definitely worth mentioning [3]

12 string Mandolin Makers
Stewart & Bauer Philadelphia
Gibson Kalamazoo
D’Angelico New York
Garozza - Catania
Grimaldi Catania, Italy
Harwood St. Louis/New York
Hozapfel Germany
Pagani New York
Ricordi Napoli
Stridente Napoli
William Wicht - Cleveland
Oscar Schmidt - New Jersey
Bruno - New York
Levin- Sweden
Lyon & Healy - Chicago
Hawes, CC - Portland ME
Menzenhauer - Germany
Otwin - Germany
F. Schwarzer - St Louis

Oscar Schmidt

Based in New Jersey, the Oscar Schmidt company began producing bowl-back mandriolas around the turn of the century and continued for an unknown amount of time. Oscar Schmidt folded in 1939 and the bowl back mandolin market was dealt a fatal blow by Gibson's introduction of the flat back mandolin so its likely few mandriolas were made in New Jersey after the 1920s.

The Oscar Schmidt mandriola has a Spanish cedar neck with a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and a large, rosewood veneered headstock with square plate tuners and aluminum buttons which would've been quite the novelty for the time. 

The body has a solid spruce top with a tortoise and ivoroid celluloid inlaid pickguard, one should observe an 'O' and 'S' overlaid on eachother in the center of the pickguard which is the dead giveaway of an Oscar Schmidt product. The top is bound in wood herringbone and a white-black-white stripe made of ebonized hardwood and celluloid. The back has ___ ribs of Brazilian Rosewood.


Sources

[1] https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_American_Federationist/7hNLAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=mandolin+oscar+schmidt&pg=PA1127&printsec=frontcover
[2] http://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/mandolins.htm 
[3] https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/158257-New-old-Mandriola

The Other Kay Kraft Instruments Kay Kraft is a name that instantly brings the "Venetian" body shape to the mind of those familiar ...

The Other Kay Kraft Instruments

Kay Kraft is a name that instantly brings the "Venetian" body shape to the mind of those familiar with the brand but there were other instruments produced during this era which don't receive the same attention. They may not necessarily be a part of the Kay Kraft line but they were produced by Kay during that era and their existence should be documented


These archtops do not have an official designation so I have assigned them a Style number to help classify their existence

Style 1

  • Neck: Poplar
  • Fingerboard: Ebonized hardwood
  • Inlays: Pearl Dots
  • Back and Sides: Birch
  • Top: Spruce

Style 2

From a Metropolitan Music Catalog c.1935
Image Credit: VintAxe
  • Neck: Poplar
  • Fingerboard: Ebonized hardwood
  • Inlays: Pearl Dots
  • Back and Sides: Birch
  • Top: Spruce

Style 3

From a Metropolitan Music Catalog c.1935
Image Credit: VintAxe
  • Neck: Poplar
  • Fingerboard: Ebonized hardwood
  • Inlays: Pearl Dots
  • Back and Sides:  Mahogany
  • Top: Spruce

Style 4

From a Metropolitan Music Catalog c.1935
Image Credit: VintAxe
  • Neck: Poplar
  • Fingerboard: Ebonized hardwood
  • Inlays: Pearl Dots
  • Back and Sides: Figured maple
  • Top: Spruce

About The "Venetian Recordophone" guitars were sold by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. These photos are from the 1931 catalog and n...

About

The "Venetian Recordophone" guitars were sold by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. These photos are from the 1931 catalog and no existing catalogs have surfaced from 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, or beyond. They do not appear in the 1927 catalog so we can count that year out. The Venetian Recordophone guitars were described as being the "latest improvement in guitar construction" and "an invention of an expert of over thirty-five years experience in guitar building". Metallic silk grilles were fastened in the sound holes and the large, carved bridge was touted as "will positively not pull off due to the extraordinary large glueing space". 

Stylistically, they look like Regal products and the description of "gold tinsel" fingerboards on the no.2062 matches my 1930s Regal "Diamond Head" guitar's fingerboard. I'm not aware of any manufacturer other than Regal who used bronze powder mixed in celluloid for fingerboards. This connection is just speculation as I have not personally inspected one of these guitars to say for sure.

No. 2060

The No. 2060 was the top model. The top was Eastern mountain spruce (adirondack) with black and white pryalin binding on the top and around the soundhole. The back and sides were "very fine" northern birch finished in a dark mahogany stain with "the center of back has an overlaid design in fancy colors". The top was finished in a "shaded amber brown and orange" sunburst. The neck was constructed of mahogany with "marine pearl" on the faceplate and fingerboard. The bridge was hardwood, covered in "marine pearl", engraved, and featured a bone saddle and black bridge pins. The tuners were nickel plated with black buttons and the frets were nickel silver. The finish is described as a "Zanzibar finish, hand rubbed to a dull gloss". The instrument cost 30 dollars at the time

The phrase "marine pearl" is used to describe the veneer on the fingerboard, bridge, headplate, and pickguard which might lead one to believe they are using genuine mother of pearl. But another description of the guitar mentions "white pearlette" which, given the context of a 1930s depression-era guitar, makes far more sense. Pearlette is referring to imitation mother of pearl made from celluloid and mica. It is also often called pearloid. 

no. 2060
Image Credit: VintAxe

No. 2061 & 2062

These were identical to the 2060 except the "marine pearl" was replaced with silver tinsel on the 2061 and gold tinsel on the 2062. It also cost $30.

no. 2061, 2062
Image Credit: VintAxe


Original Map Source:  GISGeography.com Boundaries added by me The Sanborn Map Company was, at one time, the largest and most successful map ...


Original Map Source: GISGeography.com
Boundaries added by me

The Sanborn Map Company was, at one time, the largest and most successful map company in the United States. They are best known for their fire insurance maps which are block-by-block illustrations and descriptions of the buildings within a city. They are an invaluable resource for documenting how property and businesses have changed. I've spent a fair number of hours using the Chicago fire insurance maps and they are fairly well documented with a couple of guides to help the average person use them but St. Louis maps have not received the same attention.

Using a modern map, I superimposed a rough outline of the area covered by each Sanborn map volume. Its helpful to recognize that street names have changed, buildings have been destroyed, and highways have been built since these maps were first drawn but the general layout of the city remains the same. 

Sanborn first passed through St. Louis in 1903 to map the central area of the city from the river to 14th Street. They returned in 1904 to map the Louisiana Purchase Exposition or St. Louis Worlds Fair as it is also known. The "heavy valued district" was remapped again in 1907 and then in 1908 they began to chart the rest of the city. In 1938, Sanborn revised their maps for the southern part of the city by redrawing borders and adding an additional volume, 20. By the 1940s, they no longer were redrawing maps but instead were distributing corrections to be pasted over the original areas. These occurred, roughly, from 1943-1951 and each revision is noted on the first page of the document.

All the links below go to the Library of Congress' website. They do have software in place to limit the amount of times you can load their website per minute

Volumes









About The Stratosphere Guitar Manufacturing Company was founded in Springfield, Missouri by brothers Russell Herman and Claude Luther Deaver...

About

The Stratosphere Guitar Manufacturing Company was founded in Springfield, Missouri by brothers Russell Herman and Claude Luther Deaver. According to the 1950 census, both brothers worked as painters and they were listed as painters in the 1953 city directory [1][2]. The 1954 city directory is unavailable but by the time of the 1955 city directory they were both listed as working at the Stratosphere Guitar Manufacturing Co [3][4].

The factory was located at 341 Boonville Avenue in Springfield, Missouri which was a manufacturing block just north of the city center. 

300 block of Boonville Avenue in Springfield c.1959
Boonville Ave runs vertically on the right side of the photo
The exact building the Deavers used is unknown
Image Credit: Historic Aerials

From L-R: Russell, Russell Jr, Mina, Ruth, and Claude Deaver
Image Credit: Ancestry.com user gcdb53

1957 Patent application for a double neck electric guitar
Image Credit: Google Patents







 Sources

[1] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/138944082:62308?tid=182251037&pid=312374524275&hid=1040242460821
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/141938487:62308?tid=182251037&pid=312374524313&hid=1040242461354
[3] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/546416993:2469?_phsrc=zMK1371&_phstart=successSource&gsfn=russell&gsln=deaver&ml_rpos=6&queryId=65db53ebef41366f80a12da362b7d4f0
[4] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/632312403:2469?_phsrc=zMK1373&_phstart=successSource&gsfn=russell&gsln=deaver&ml_rpos=10&queryId=65db53ebef41366f80a12da362b7d4f0


1850 Donaldson & Hall ad Image Credit:  Missouri Digital Heritage About Donaldson & Hall was a tool manufacturer and importer locate...

1850 Donaldson & Hall ad
Image Credit: Missouri Digital Heritage


About

Donaldson & Hall was a tool manufacturer and importer located in St. Louis, Missouri founded by James Donaldson and John Hall. 

James F. Donaldson

James F. Donaldson was born in Maryland around the year 1800. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri. According to the 1840 census, Donaldson's household consisted of six free people and one slave. One male between 15 and 19, two males between 20 and 29, one male between 30 and 39, one female between 10 and 14, one female between 30 and 39, and one female slave between 24 and 35 years old [2]. By the 1850 census, James worked as a Hardware Merchant and owned a house valued at $8,000 (approx $297,000 today) on Lucas Place between 15th and 16th Streets. He lived there with his wife Julia, daughters Caroline and Sarah, and son John H.P [3]. In the 1860 census, he had moved his family to Dayton, Ohio and his personal estate was valued at $16500 (approx $611,500 today) [4]. He died of typhoid fever on Monday January 20th, 1868 [5]

John H. Hall

John H. Hall was born in Kentucky around the year 1800 and later moved to St. Louis, Missouri. In 1852, he lived in Lucas Place between 15th and 16th Streets. In the 1860 census he listed his occupation as being "hardware" and lived with his wife Mary and children Leontha, William, Charles, Millard, and Frank. 

Sources

[1] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Morrison_s_St_Louis_Directory/VHhQTpx4Y7EC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=donaldson+%26+hall+st+louis&pg=PA68&printsec=frontcover
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/3614052:8057?tid=&pid=&queryId=18c5fdd69973ee5118f40365ca2cc955&_phsrc=zMK1234&_phstart=successSource
[3] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/4105295:8054?tid=&pid=&queryId=5d000eb2ba80bee394711d0a0b323c22&_phsrc=zMK1233&_phstart=successSource
[4] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/41806951:7667?tid=&pid=&queryId=18c5fdd69973ee5118f40365ca2cc955&_phsrc=zMK1234&_phstart=successSource
[5] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/78740464/james-f-donaldson?_gl=1*ubo428*_ga*MTIzNzkzNjIxLjE2NDIxODkwMDQ.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY1MjcyNTcyNy4xNi4xLjE2NTI3MjY0NjMuMA..


1844 Ad from Green's St Louis Directory Image Credit:  Google Books About Moses (b.1808, d.1881) and Nathaniel Hixson Stout (b.1806, d.1...

1844 Ad from Green's St Louis Directory
Image Credit: Google Books

About

Moses (b.1808, d.1881) and Nathaniel Hixson Stout (b.1806, d.1867) were brothers and plane makers based in St. Louis, Missouri. Both men were born in Cloverhill, New Jersey before moving to St Louis. Their business was located at No.96 Main (or First) Street. 

Moses was making planes in St. Louis as early as 1836 according to a city directory [1]. Its unclear when Nathaniel joined the business but they appear in an 1850 city directory as being in business but not any of the 1870s directories [2]. They evidently parted ways as Nathaniel was living in Tennessee by the time of the 1860 census. He died in 1867. Moses was retired when the 1870 census came around and was living in a home valued at $11,000. 


Sources

[1] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/3030/rec/2
[2] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/55444/rec/1
 

  1850 Ad in the St Louis Business Directory Image Credit:  Google Books About John Gass owned a piano and music store at 85 Fourth Street i...

 

1850 Ad in the St Louis Business Directory
Image Credit: Google Books

About

John Gass owned a piano and music store at 85 Fourth Street in St. Louis, Missouri. He sold pianos and guitars as well as other personal goods like umbrellas, parasols, and canes. His shop also repaired instruments

Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1876-77 Image Credit:  Missouri Digital Heritage About Herman Murat (also known as Herma...

Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1876-77
Image Credit: Missouri Digital Heritage

About

Herman Murat (also known as Hermann Morath) was a Swiss-born luthier who was involved in a handful of musical instrument manufacturer and repairing firms in St Louis. He was born around 1840, immigrated to the United States in time to serve in the American Civil War, and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. By 1871, he was in business with a French luthier named Nicholas Lebrun (b.1819, d.1899). They were listed in the City directory as being manufacturers of musical instruments and were situated at the southeast corner of 6th and Pine Streets [7]. In 1872, the firm was located at 207 S. 5th Street but by 1876, Murat was listed as an instrument maker while Lebrun was working elsewhere with band instruments [8][9]. 

1881 City Directory
Image Credit: Ancestry.com

By 1881, Herman was now in business with William Tischendorf and located at 320 Walnut Street. Tischendorf had been working as an instrument maker since 1879 [3]. But by 1887, Murat was working by himself again at 9 N. 6th Street and William no longer appears in the City directories by 1891 [6][10]. Herman died a year later in February of 1888 and was buried in Jefferson Barracks. 


Sources

[1] https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/182251037/person/312370004155/facts
[2] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2469/images/10551305?usePUB=true&_phsrc=zMK1092&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=530965241
[3] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/api/singleitem/image/p16795coll7/14677/default.jpg?highlightTerms=William%20Tischendorf
[4] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/20627/rec/1
[5] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/22515/rec/3
[6] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/32283/rec/8
[7] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/570/rec/1
[8] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/7937/rec/4
[9] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/3575/rec/2
[10] https://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16795coll7/id/23535/rec/5

About Stenciled drawings and scenes began appearing on American-made guitars in the 1920s. They are differentiated from decalcomania in that...

About

Stenciled drawings and scenes began appearing on American-made guitars in the 1920s. They are differentiated from decalcomania in that stencils are made of paint sprayed through a cutout while decals are loosened in water and left to dry on the instrument.

I will be building a list of artists who were behind these instruments as I come across them

Vernon Winslow

1943 Announcement
Image Credit: [1]



Sources

[1] https://books.google.com/books?id=PFsEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA69&dq=sears+roebuck+harmony+co+musical+instrument&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjb4e3W29L1AhWUkokEHR6dDYAQ6AF6BAgCEAI#v=onepage&q&f=false