A Brief History from our Tech Writer
During the early 1900s, before easy access amplification, the best way a blues player could fill a room or open-air venue was with a metal resonator guitar. It was to this end that National String Instruments was formed, manufacturing the first resonating string instruments such as ukuleles, mandolins, and guitars. The first National resonators were made with a tricone system in which three resonating cones were connected for a more sweet sounding tone with more sustain. Later, double and single cone options were offered, with the single, larger cone making for some serious volume. Around the same time-frame, Gibson and Martin were producing the first tenor guitars; smaller instruments with four strings tuned like a tenor banjo. These instruments were meant to get tenor banjo players into guitar playing, and soon enough National was producing tenor guitars with resonating bodies, like this piece here.
This instrument is a Style 3 tenor guitar with a single cone. The neck is maple with an ebony fretboard, and the peghead is pearloid with the pegs facing back, old-style. The frets have some considerable wear, but they have some life left in them. There is a chip in the fretboard on the 6th fret. The peghead has some darkening from age and some chips on the bass side edge. The body has some wear and shows a shadow wear the pick-guard used to be, but the floral etchings look great, front and back. This instrument seems to have been well appreciated by its previous owner, who had his name stylishly etched on the back and had also roughly etched it inside the resonator cavity. The biggest issue the instrument has is that the neck seemed to be pulling the top off of the body a bit, but after a repair from our in-house luthier, the issue is under control and is not worsening. True to the ideas above, this guitar has a heck of a voice and can really cut through and fill a room. If you’re a collector, or even a banjo player looking for a fun new instrument, don’t pass this one up! Ships in its original hard-shell case.
Weight: 6lbs. 0 oz.
Nut width: 1 ⅛”
7/10 (very good condition) c.1930s Made in the USA
All of our instruments are inspected by our manufacturer certified technician and stored in our humidity and temperature controlled warehouse. All listings are as pictured in the included photographs. We ship all of our instruments through UPS Ground with Reverb Protection. Please reach out and contact us with any questions you may have!