Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

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Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (DadREmj2ephd) » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:39 pm

I inherited my father's lap steel guitar that he bought in early 1942 in Honolulu while he was stationed there in the US Army shortly after Pearl Harbor. He passed away in Dec, 2010, in GA, and, I shipped the guitar to my Seattle area location in June this year.

Dad’s guitar is: Stamped serial number D913, 6-string, NS 100 Silver Hawaiian, Pat # 2089171, electric knobs opposite. Our family has photographs taken in Hawaii in 1942 showing Dad playing this guitar with attached speaker at the Army base; everybody in tents. We also have a photograph showing Dad playing this guitar 'acoustically' in a foxhole on Diamond Head.

In addition, I have an original letter from the Rickenbacker Corporation's then-president John C. Hall, dated 4 April 1985, answering a inquiry my father sent about his guitar. Unfortunately, the company did not keep exact manufacture records going back that far. This guitar was manufactured no later than 1941; it is likely older than that. It will never be for sale; it is scheduled to be donated to The Museum of Appalachia where my dad played music for decades. Meanwhile, I hope to find a reliable electric guitar technician in the Seattle are who can do a minor restoration (new strings, replace missing tuning knobs, minor electrical work if needed) with nothing that would alter the original character of this lovely instrument. I would like to learn to play it for the remainder of my life, hearing the beautiful sounds I remember across 60 years.
Thank you for any information,
Maureen Ellis
ellismjeellis@aol.com
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (rshatz) » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:22 am

If the instrument chrome plated then it is, in fact, a Silver Hawaiian model. Control knobs on opposite sides of the body indicate that this was the second version of that instrument. It was probably manufactured in 1937 or 1938.
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (kiramdear) » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:36 am

Maureen, can you post some pictures of your guitar for us? :)
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (cjj) » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:23 am

Welcome to the RRF Maureen! Yes, some pictures could help (and are always appreciated!)...
:D
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (DadREmj2ephd) » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:56 pm

Thank you to everyone who replied and gave information. I have 3 photos, taken by Dad, of his guitar, one he shot early in 1942 in HI and two, front and back, taken about 2005 or 2006 when Mom and Dad were living here in western WA before they moved back to the SE USA; Dad passed away in late 2010. Other family have photos of Dad actually playing this guitar. It does appear, is a silvery appearance, to be chrome rather than cast aluminum, and, the tuning knobs are opposite. I need to reduce the pixel size of the more recent photo which is in color. So, will get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, see the 1942 picture. Thanks again,
Maureen Ellis
Seattle area, WA, USA
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129842567142464400.jpg
Early 1942 RE lap steel guitar
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (DadREmj2ephd) » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:53 pm

This is a more recent photo of serial # D913 RE lap steel guitar bought in Honolulu in early 1942 by my father who was about 19 yrs old. He arrived in HI within two days after Pearl Harbor; i.e., he and fellow soldiers were on their way to the Philippines, but, their ship was rerouted to HI after the attack. I did soften the flash-glare on the lower part of the guitar via lighting adjustment with Photoshop.
Thanks so much,
Maureen E Ellis, Seattle area, WA, USA
crop 2005 RE lap steel.jpg
recent photo front D913 RE lap steel
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Re: Need information about inherited pre-WWII lap-steel

Postby (jps) » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:56 pm

DadREmj2ephd wrote:...I hope to find a reliable electric guitar technician in the Seattle are who can do a minor restoration (new strings, replace missing tuning knobs, minor electrical work if needed) with nothing that would alter the original character of this lovely instrument. I would like to learn to play it for the remainder of my life, hearing the beautiful sounds I remember across 60 years.

Try Mike Lull, he is probably the best up in the Seattle area. 8)
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