My experience with these guitars goes back to the early 60's.My first guitar was a Harmony acoustic and learning to play guitar was inspired by one of these student instruments. I alwaysloved the look of the Black Sovereign with white pickguard that hung in the store. Martin workers are allowed to build a guitar for their own use after they have been with the company a stipulated period. Martin also built mandolins (introduced in 1895), ukuleles (introduced in 1915), taropatches (an 8-stringed ukulele), tiples (a 10-stringed ukulele), Hawaiian guitars, and tenor banjos (in 1923) plus a few custom instruments.The Harmony Company of Illinois, United States, manufactured a wide variety of musical instruments which were popular during most of the 20th century.This article is devoted to documenting these instruments.
What is known about one of the most prolific manufactures of guitars in this country? Zoebisch & Sons was the exclusive distributor of all Martin instruments, and that name appears on a paper label inside the sound hole. Beginning in 1929 the model numbers were marked on the neck block, inside the body. The size and style designation was written on a paper label, glued inside the top of the instrument case.They were also stamped with a date stamp with the season and two-digit year ('F-45' would indicate the instrument was manufactured in the fall of 1945).Only 'F-xx' and 'S-xx' are found as date stamps, S could be summer, perhaps Harmony synchronized its orders with the main catalog distributors (as Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Wards).