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Thread: Sears Supertone Identification

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    10

    Default Sears Supertone Identification

    I have the Sears Supertone Uke shown in the pictures below, but I am very new to instruments and playing the Uke. I am only about 2 months in of playing this one so learning everyday.

    But as I read about the different Uke's on here it got me interested in more information people might have on this model:

    From the label in the sound hole I can see it is a Sears Supertone, and based on reading on here it is a 1920 or 1930s model.

    -Would this be mahogany wood?
    -Any way to tell what year it would be from?
    -Just learning it doesn't matter too much, but is this a decent quality Uke?
    -Any idea how much they are worth, just wondering if it was worth what I paid for it?

    Thanks to info on this site I was able to re-glue the bridge and adjust the height of the strings which has helped it stay in tune for sure!
    Last edited by mnuk; 01-28-2021 at 07:49 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    I think Sears used "Supertone" up until the 1940's but I don't remember where I got that information. This looks to me like a 30's - 40's ukulele but I am not aware of a way to pin it down. The quality is quite good on these ukuleles and although it is not mahogany (it is birch), I bet it sounds great and plays well.

    How much is it worth? Well, if you enjoy it and it didn't put you in the poor house, you got a good deal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the additional information, I was wondering if it might be birch but I wasn't sure how to tell. I am pretty sure all the sound issues at this point are from my inability and not the ukulele, hopefully at some point I can get to the point where I can notice the difference between a good one and bad one with my playing.

    I thought I had read somewhere that in the 30s they went with the harmony brand name rather than the sears, but maybe that wasn't the case.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,767

    Default

    Looks really nice, enjoy! If it has wood tuning pegs, I would think it's very early 30's or even 20's. And, I'd say it's mahogany...
    Last edited by UkerDanno; 01-22-2021 at 12:28 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
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    Default

    Sears used the Supertone name until the late 1930’s, then changed to the Silvertone name. They were all made by the Harmony company of Chicago, which was originally owned by Sears before it became an independent company. Even after Harmony was separated from Sears, Harmony continued to supply Silvertone branded instruments.

    With the wooden pegs I’d say yours is probably earlier, 1920’s. Probably can’t be any more specific than that.

    In my experience these are lightly built and resonant. An excellent entry into vintage ukes.

    I’m pretty sure that’s mahogany, though the grain pattern on the bass side upper bout looks a little bit like poplar. But I think that’s just that the mahogany wasn’t quartersawn.
    Last edited by river_driver; 01-22-2021 at 03:45 PM.

  6. #6

    Default

    There is a great misconception that wood pegs make a ukulele earlier. Yes, the earliest builders all used wood pegs but by the time there were factory built ukuleles friction machine tuners were available. Wood pegs were a cheaper option and so basic models were often found with wood pegs into the 40's and much later for Harmony.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the information, being it is a Supertone and not the Silvertone I guess I can be confident it is from the 1920s or 1930s.

    I was hoping it was mahogany but wasn't sure how to tell.

    The wood pegs are definitely interesting, but they seem to be holding the tune now. I did some light sanding and added peg dope and that seemed to help.

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