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Thread: The oldest surviving maker of ukuleles

  1. #1
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    Default The oldest surviving maker of ukuleles

    The new Martin journal has the article on page 26.

    https://www.martinguitar.com/about/m..._content=cover
    - Laura

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    Isn't Kamaka the oldest surviving Ukulele manufacturer, particularly if you think in terms of continuous manufacture ?

    http://www.kamakahawaii.com/history.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Isn't Kamaka the oldest surviving Ukulele manufacturer, particularly if you think in terms of continuous manufacture ?

    http://www.kamakahawaii.com/history.html
    Let's not allow the facts to ruin a good story
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

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    Hmm, although Martin began production of ukes in 1915, one year before Samuel Kamaka opened his first shop in 1916 - they ceased production for a good length of time (starting in 1995) - so their claim is a little iffy. They may be the oldest "surviving" maker of ukes, but they aren't the oldest continuous maker of ukes.
    Last edited by bearbike137; 06-05-2017 at 05:29 AM.

    Originally Posted by ukemunga:
    "Best is a very personal thing. You gotta play it to love it. And you'll always think there's one better. And there is."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Isn't Kamaka the oldest surviving Ukulele manufacturer, particularly if you think in terms of continuous manufacture ?

    http://www.kamakahawaii.com/history.html
    I always through this, too. Kamaka is the oldest continuous manufacturer of ukuleles. Martin totally abandoned the ukulele for, what, thirty or forty years. LOL.

    Also, Martin was making guitars long prior to ukuleles, so including those non-uke years, I suppose they can claim to be the "oldest". But, for pure ukulele makers, unsullied by other stringed instruments, Kamaka is king.

    It should be noted that, while Martin re-introduced the ukulele in the past decade from Nazareth, PA, , now they are reducing their Nazareth-made ukes to customs and one-off small series, and have shipped out the vast majority of manufacturing to foreign made. Kamaka, conversely has always been made in the USA-- hell, even before Hawaii was USA! LOL.

    I give Kamaka great respect for making only ukuleles, through thick and thin economic times, during both booms and busts for the instrument, always in their Hawaii shop. That's some real ukulele provenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearbike137 View Post
    Hmm, although Martin began production of ukes in 1915, one year before Samuel Kamaka opened his first shop in 1916 - they ceased production for a good length of time (starting in 1995) - so their claim is a little iffy. They may be the oldest "surviving" maker of ukes, but they aren't the oldest continuous maker of ukes.
    Also, Sam Sr. was making ukuleles with Manuel Nunes well before 1915. When did he begin making them on his own? Could it have been before the 1916 opening of his "shop"?
    This also makes me wonder where Martin got the idea for ukuleles. And when?
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post

    Kamaka, conversely has always been made in the USA-- hell, even before Hawaii was USA! LOL.
    As an outsider from the UK I've found a lot of interest in what has gone on in the US and your way of life - even visited a couple of times - hence I decided to do a check on Hawaii.

    Hawaii became a State of the USA in 1959 but has been USA territory since 1898. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territory_of_Hawaii

    I kind of see where Martin might be coming from but Kamaka has my vote.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 06-05-2017 at 08:22 AM.

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    awesome read but I never thought martin as oldest maker, only kamaka came to mind, but overall both companys make great ukuleles

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    It just occurred to me that as much as I love vintage Martin ukes, I have never even tried the new ones. Do they compare well with the vintage stuff?

    Originally Posted by ukemunga:
    "Best is a very personal thing. You gotta play it to love it. And you'll always think there's one better. And there is."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearbike137 View Post
    It just occurred to me that as much as I love vintage Martin ukes, I have never even tried the new ones. Do they compare well with the vintage stuff?
    No, they don't.

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