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

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  Biography Anton Diener (1849-1916) was born to Konrad and Anna Maria Diener (nee Dinz) in Germany and he immigrated to the United States a...

A. Diener "Laclede" Guitars

 

Biography

Anton Diener (1849-1916) was born to Konrad and Anna Maria Diener (nee Dinz) in Germany and he immigrated to the United States aboard the Westphalia in 1872. His occupation was listed as a "joiner" [1][2]. He married Anna Maria Westenberger (1852-1905) in 1877 [3].


According to the 1900 census, the earliest available, Anton was listed as a "mfg of instruments" and had a 22 year old son, George, who was listed as an "instrument maker" [4]. In the 1910 census, Anton was living in his son's house, after his wife had passed, and both were listed as "manufacturer" in "own shop". Anton died in 1916 and his final occupation was listed as "music mfg" and the family still resided in their home at 2028 Tremont St or 2028 Fremont St [6][7]. 


George Diener (1878-1951) married Anna Placht, the third Diener to marry a woman named Anna. [7]. In his WWII draft registration card, he was listed as working at his "own business" doing "musical instrument repairing"  [8]. He would continue to list his occupation as a repairman for musical instruments through every census until his death in 1951 [9]. They had two children, Agnes and Edward, who did not take up the family trade and so the line of instruments ended with George.


It is unclear where these instruments are produced and how they were sold as I cannot find a shred of advertising in newspaper scans or any evidence of a business location. It's possible that they were built out of their home. Either way, George did not appear to carry on with building instruments after his father passed so the "A. Diener" guitars are likely the only ones that came from this father-son trade. In the time period that George did his repair work, it was not uncommon for labels to be affixed in instruments after a repair was completed so perhaps there exists "G. Diener" repair labels. I cannot say for sure.


Instruments

Anton Diener's instruments have a label with his name, "A. Diener", followed by the name "Laclede Guitar" in fancy script, and finally the city "Chicago". All are on separate lines. 


Sources

[1] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KD3C-2KW

[2] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPT8-5PWJ

[3] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D4MJ-1M3Z

[4] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DHX3-JBV?i=28&cc=1325221&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AMSQ3-28T

[5] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RVX-ZD?i=21&cc=1727033&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AMKZF-LGT

[6] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQ2L-3MK

[7] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:H9JG-3NN2

[8] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-814K-SLN?i=1785&cc=1968530&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3A7W3Y-5L3Z

[9] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MH-KPQC


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