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About c.1908 August Gerhard (or Gerhardt) Almcrantz was born in Södra Fogelas, Skaraborn Lan, Sweden on August 21st, 1864 to Anders Gustaf a...

Gerhard Almcrantz - Chicago, Illinois


August Gerhard (or Gerhardt) Almcrantz was born in Södra Fogelas, Skaraborn Lan, Sweden on August 21st, 1864 to Anders Gustaf and Fredrika Almcrantz.  He married Cecilia Amalia Stendahl (b.1864, d.1951). He immigrated to the United States in 1891 and moved to Chicago and began producing musical instruments at 6015 S. Halsted Street. He had two children, Georgia Dorothea (b.1896) and Oscar Gerhard (b.1897) [1]. By the 1940 census, Gerhard was living alone but still listed as 'Married'. August Gerhard died in 1942 and left four children, Georgia, Oscar, Alma Gipe, and Alvera [2].

Almcrantz soundhole label
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I found this story on when researching Almcrantz and its certainly interesting but I'm not able to corroborate it or identify this second wife. Worth mentioning but I wouldn't call it fact.

"Here is my own 'Almcrantz' story : In the late 1980's I've got interested in building guitars (my interest waned since than). At pre-Internet time it seemed like nobody - except Tom Wheeler - knew about Almcrantz, so I searched for the ownership of Almcrantz brand name. I did like the sound of it and the fact the luthier put a picture of his face picture in the guitar sound box.
At the time nobody owned, or claimed the ownership of it as name-brand! I decided to search for family member of sort of a trust, so I could buy it or at least talked about it - and I FOUND it. In the late 1980's I talked to his...WIFE! Yes! As strange as it seems, I found Mrs. Almcrantz phone number - she lived in a sort of a retirement home in Highland Park, IL . As far as I could figure it out, Gerhard Almcrantz married a very young woman at his quite advanced age, luring her with promises of a good life with a rich guitar maker. The promises were short lived, since he died and left her completely penniless. And mad. She expressed that to me quite 'dynamically'. She actually was quite upset: she told me he had debts and she had to deal with them for the most of her life.
She remembered him having a workshop on Stony Island Avenue, and not at 6001 S. Halsted St., so obviously he moved to a different location at some point. I asked her if it would be possible that I could use 'Almcrantz' name again to make guitars. She assured me I could have the name and she had nothing against it. She told me she was the only living beneficiary of Mr. Almcrantz and she would sign all the necessary papers to allow me to use the name.

In about 1988 or so I went to see the building at 6001 S. Halsted. There was a dilapidated, corner red brick building, a commercial mixture of apartments/stores with a sort of a turret.. All widows boarded up, decaying or empty, metal fence and chains at the 6001 door. Rather bad. I'd be surprised if the building would still be there.

Chris Wawer, Chicago"


  • 1891 - Immigrated to the United States
  • 1898 - Factory located at 6001 S Halsted St
    • Employed two men
  • 1900 - Factory located at 6022 S Halsted St
    • Employed two men and one woman
  • 1903 - Factory located at 6015 Halsted St
    • Employed two men
  • 1905 - Same


In 1895, Gerhard patented a harp guitar with a bolt on neck and bolt on bridge
US Patent US542788

In 1900 he patented a guitar with an aluminum channel or tube running through the neck. He mentions the additional structural support but the primary reason was for tonal reasons. The theory being that allowing sound to travel through the neck would improve the tone of the instrument.
US Patent US647173

He also patented a zither with Frank Danielson in 1904 that had keys like a piano
US Patent US759057



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