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View Full Version : 50's or 60's Airline (Harmony) Baritone Ukulele (neighbor owns one)



Cooper Black
12-04-2012, 05:57 AM
My neighbor was given a nice gift from his Father-in-Law, an "Airline" branded Baritone Ukulele. This is quite obviously produced by the Harmony Co. somewhere in the 50's or 60's (so many instruments during those years!).

The guy wasn't all that into it, because the friction machines would not hold tuning; he declared them broken and in need of replacing.

But what do you know, it may have been the fresh strings stretching out (as they do) because I was able to tune the thing up last night and play on it for a good hour or so. It sounded really sweet!

Mahogany body (probably laminate). The nut and (glued-in) saddle look to be bone. Is this true? The action was quite high as I went up the neck, but the intonation was true, and it wasn't really difficult to fret. So I'm not sure there any real problem with the set-up. I think the guy has a nice uke on his hands. He already plays other stuff (we jam some) so he should be happy.

I'd welcome any insight into these ukes, if there is knowledge to be found Underground.

Thanks!

coolkayaker1
12-04-2012, 06:03 AM
Thyere's a sweet one on eBay now for $225

hoosierhiver
12-04-2012, 06:11 AM
In my opinion, Harmony's baritones were generally better than their other ukes. I've seen some really sweet ones, check the wood grain inside the uke and see if it matches the exterior, it could be a solid.

Cooper Black
12-04-2012, 06:26 AM
Thanks for the replies! I'll try to get pictures.

I forgot to mention earlier, he has it strung up low-D, with wound G and D strings. I suggested a lighter gauge set, but he correctly pointed out we don't have much selection in the local shops (guy does not shop on-line). I might see what Elderly has (and have some put in my next box).

Pippin
12-04-2012, 08:42 PM
In my opinion, Harmony's baritones were generally better than their other ukes. I've seen some really sweet ones, check the wood grain inside the uke and see if it matches the exterior, it could be a solid.

Yep, Mike is right. I had a solid mahogany Harmony baritone in the late 1960s (replaced a laminated model). They were harder to find, but Harmony did produce a lot of them.

dhoenisch
12-06-2012, 05:02 PM
I believe Harmony U.S.A. only used solid mahogany on their baritones. The saddle is a hard and brittle plastic, as is the nut. The one I have needed a neck reset, and I replaced the nut and saddle with bone. It's a great uke. If your friend sells it, buy it.

Dan

mds725
12-06-2012, 09:43 PM
Thyere's a sweet one on eBay now for $225

There are five currently listed, although none for $225. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=airline+harmony+baritone&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=harmony+baritone&_sacat=0
If you want to direct people to a specific auction, it would help to post a link.