Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1936 Supertone Flat Top with F-Holes

Here we have a 1936 Supertone flat top guitar with f-holes.  That's right, looks like an archtop, but it is not.  The top is flat with a couple little f holes cut into it to make for a spunky/punky sounding guitar.  Here's a little photo - maybe you can see what I'm talking about.
For a time Supertone was the brand name used by the Sears & Roebuck Co. to classify their musical instrument catalog.  I have always loved the "Supertone" brand name.  Someone in the marketing department at Sears got right to the point.  Although, on occasion with some of their instruments, the name might be a bit misleading.  This guitar was actually made by the Harmony musical instrument company which Sears purchased in 1916.  Harmony built most of the Supertone guitar models in the 1930's for Sears along with Regal, Oscar Schmidt and Stromberg Voisinet(which later became Kay) rounding out their manufacturers.  This guitar has an S-36 stamped on the inside back which indicates that this guitar was made in the spring/summer of 1936.
This is the type of guitar that defines this blog.  Depression era/department store branded/working man(or in this case child) guitar.  I say child's guitar because this instrument is at best 3/4 size.  It measures 31 3/4 inches from the top of the headstock to
the base with a 21 1/2 inch scale length.  It is all original with the exception of a tuning post that was changed out some time long ago.  The guitar is in great condition.  I love finding these almost 80 year old survivors.  Again, I can't help but wonder who owned it, where it came from and how and why it survived this long in such good shape 
I can't put this guitar down.  It is so much fun to play and has such a funky tone, that I find myself reaching for it every chance I get.  Because of the size of the guitar, the tone is compressed to give you that nasaly/bluesy sound, but the volume is not.  This little thing is surprisingly loud.  I would have to say that it is currently my favorite instrument.   It plays great for its age and short of replacing the nut, I wouldn't do anything to it right now.  This guitar makes me want to play guitar and was well worth the very minimal ebay purchase price.  She was headed to the island of misfit instruments if I didn't grab her and just goes to show that one mans trash is another mans treasure.  Yes she is a cheapie, but a rare cheapie in that I have never seen another up for sale anywhere. 
the headstock helps to identify this guitar as a harmony product

 Keep your eyes open in the future as I have another tiny Supertone round hole flat top guitar to display.  She needs a little more work than the f-hole flat top so it'll be a while.  But she is a fun little thing as well.