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View Full Version : In what era, photo of headstock



Henning
04-30-2015, 11:29 PM
Hello, could anybody please tell in what time this Regal might have been manufactured:confused:

mm stan
05-01-2015, 12:40 AM
Hello, could anybody please tell in what time this Regal might have been manufactured:confused:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/121637365563?nav=SEARCH

Inksplosive AL
05-01-2015, 03:39 AM
I own a couple old Harmony ukes. One from the 20's-30's dated by label style the other a 50's-60's dated by the label, the sharkfin tuners and its clearly a slightly bigger soprano body. If the ukulele in the OP's post is the same one on eBait I would wager 50's-60's from the sharkfin tuners.

river_driver
05-01-2015, 04:48 AM
That style of Regal logo is from the mid-1960's. By that time, Regal had closed shop in Chicago (1955, I think), and Fender had acquired rights to use the name (this is also around the time CBS bought Fender). I had been under the impression that "Fender-Regals" from this time were made in Japan - ALTHOUGH the sharkfin tuners, as Al pointed out, and a couple other details point to a Harmony Chicago build. Harmony was at their absolute peak in the mid 60's in terms of production, both with their own labels and contract jobs for other companies. So Chicago, rather than Japan, makes the most sense.

The one on ebay looks nice and clean, like NOS. You don't often see that Regal logo on a uke. I'm sorely tempted!

Henning
05-01-2015, 09:07 AM
Thanks Al and river driver, now is Harmony and Regal related in any way. I jump to that conclusion by your answer AL. Maybe that is a somewhat a too fast conclusion.

Inksplosive AL
05-01-2015, 10:42 AM
I think RD explained the probable harmony connection better than I. The tuners and the stick on wood fretboard over the body that doesn't match the rest of the fretboard mimic my Harmony ukuleles exactly.

I would expect it to have a very nice bark to it where modern ukuleles seem to ring or chime more like a guitar.

river_driver
05-02-2015, 06:15 AM
I did a little more reading - I highly recommend Bob Carlin's excellent book, Regal Musical Instruments, 1895-1955.

Harmony and Regal were two of the three BIG Chicago-based musical instrument companies in the 20th century (Lyon & Healy, originator of the Washburn brand, was the third).

Regal started in Indianapolis, briefly licensed their name to L&H, but by 1908 were established as an independent musical instrument manufacturer in Chicago. By the 1930's they were one of the biggest musical instrument companies in the world. They produced guitars, mandolins, ukes, banjos and other stringed instruments, as well as producing resonator instruments for both National and Dobro. Regal closed shop in the mid-1950's and sold the name; Fender was using Regal on lower-end acoustic guitars and folk instruments in the mid-1960's.

Harmony was founded in the 1890's, and bought by Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1916 - back in the days when there was a Sears mail-order catalog in every home in America. The connection to Sears made Harmony a sales juggernaut. During the Great Depression Harmony bought brand names from failing companies (such as Stella, from Oscar Schmidt), and produced instruments bearing these names as well as their own. Just before World War II, a group of employee investors bought Harmony from Sears. In the 1950's, fueled by postwar prosperity and the rise of Rock and Roll, Harmony got even bigger, peaking in the mid-1960's. Harmony sold instruments under a variety of brand names, including contract jobs for stores and catalog companies (e.g., they had been producing, and continued to produce Silvertone instruments for Sears ever since the buyout). In the end Harmony was undercut by cheap Asian imports, and closed shop in the mid-1970's.

SO...given that the age of this uke (mid-1960's) coincides with Harmony's peak production, and that Regal was an old Chicago brand, and that Fender was selling Regal-branded instruments before Asian imports really took off, and that it has identical details to Harmony produced ukes of that time (I've seen ukes branded as Harmony, Silvertone, and Airline, all identical to this one save for the name on the headstock) - I'm confident that this is of Harmony manufacture in Chicago.

I have an earlier (mid-1950's) Silvertone of this design. It is the loudest and punchiest uke I own, despite it having a cracked soundboard!

Henning
05-02-2015, 06:55 AM
Well, thanks, appreciated. Dont you think it would be better to repair the soundboard?

Regards

river_driver
05-02-2015, 07:20 AM
Well, thanks, appreciated. Dont you think it would be better to repair the soundboard?

Regards
Yeah, I should. But right now I like the way it sounds, and since the crack appears to be quasi-stable, I don't want to mess with it. But if it gets any worse I'll definitely have it repaired.

Inksplosive AL
05-03-2015, 06:19 AM
Its funny how the universe works at times.

So I walk outside this morning to grab a gallon of water I left in my car and my neighbor starts calling my name. Just last Sunday he learned of my love for and collection of ukuleles. Well today hes running over to my car plucking on a Regal ukulele exactly like the one pictured he holds it out and asks you want it? He asked such a great price I didn't even bother to look it over until it was in hand.

Its complete a bit worn with a few dings and a scratch or two, its also missing the 12th fret. The mahogany sticker on the back of the headstock is still there. Thinking about it the word special is stamped into the wood under the tuners.

I need to grab a couple pictures.

Henning
05-04-2015, 10:07 PM
Its funny how the universe works at times.

I need to grab a couple pictures.

Please do, youīre a lucky one, arenīt you?
Donīt know what you mean really with quasi stable. At the place where I live humidity can vary a lot over the year. So it might be 20% in January and 80% in July. When I had my guitar cracked I gave it to a repair man. He said that if you fix a crack itīs no problem but if you donīt....
One matter to consider might be the case that the guitar has longer plates then the small ukulele... (?)

Cheers