View Full Version : What is it???

07-20-2014, 06:14 AM
Hi all, I'm a uke enthusiast and about a year ago a friend of mine picked up a vintage uke in a thrift store for me. $10. I put it in the corner and figured I'd strip it down and paint it at some point. Yesterday I decided to give it a closer look.

The thing that I noticed as odd is the tuning pegs. They are like the "M" tuning pegs on the Maccaferri baritone islanders. They are white button metal shaft friction pegs with a scrolly kinda M.

The uke itself, although seemingly cheap looking is not coming apart anywhere. It's solidly constructed. It is tenor in size. The only markings it has is a stamp inside that says Made in U.S.A. There are 19 frets. one in the number three, two in the number 5, one in the seven, two in the 10, one in the 12 and one in the fifteen. they look to be wood painted silver inlays. The neck extends down almost completely to the sound hole.
The sound hole has a simple black line around it, about a half an inch out.
The saddle/bridge is solid wood and looks affixed with two brads. i is signifigantly lighter than the ukulele. The nut is plastic.
I've been looking online and can't find anything like it. It's mainly the pegs that are throwing me. My mister thinks that someone must have put them on after...but there doesn't seem to be any sign of that- scratches, etc.
I will upload images shortly...but in the mean time... thoughts?

07-20-2014, 06:17 AM

07-20-2014, 06:18 AM

here's the last photo

07-21-2014, 12:09 PM
It is a uke you can feel free to do anything you want with, paint it, whatever. Probably Harmony, cheap, not a lot of value, and you may not find anything on it as they really aren't collectible or of much value. Bridge looks to have been replaced, not sure of the tuners. Put some strings on it and enjoy it, let the forum know if it works.

07-21-2014, 02:42 PM
Looking at the tuning pegs I thought that might be a "W" instead of an "M" so I looked to see if Wurlitzer ever made Ukuleles, and sure enough they did. Actually Martin and M. Nunes and Sons made them in the 20's and 30's and they were re-branded as Wurlitzer.

However, none of the photos that I could find of Wurlitzer Ukuleles had the fancy tuning pegs, and all of them had the brand name clearly on the headstock or inside, so unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case.

07-21-2014, 03:26 PM
That's a curious little Frankenstein's monster there. Somebody did a real hack job of a repair on it.

You're right, the tuners absolutely are Maccaferri tuners. The bridge looks like it came from a 1950's/60's Harmony baritone. The rest of it, well...

My guess is post-WWII, Chicago built - but I don't think Harmony. Regal maybe? Looks like birch, and I assume it's solid, not laminate? That would be consistent, and Regal made a lot of un-branded ukes. But the tenor scale has me puzzled. And the giant "MADE IN USA" stamp is something I've not seen before.

Is it heavily built?