Dating martin ukulele


Another big change that occurred in the early s was when sheet music publishers started adding ukulele chords to their sheet music. This surely boosted sales of bot h sheet music and ukuleles. Martin added a large new wing to the factory in , and then needed to add a second floor to that wing the very next year, as sales continued to climb. It was likely the first time in the history of the company that it was completely unable to meet the demand for its instruments. The company even had to resort to something it never would have dreamed of just a few years earlier—turning away all new customers until it could catch up with the order backlog.

Ukulele orders peaked in , when approximately 15, ukuleles were ordered. However only about 11, could be built that year, and they started with over 5, ukuleles backordered.

Dating a Martin Ukulele

In , Martin actually temporarily halted production of its most popular ukulele model—the Style 0—to help them catch up with demand. In , Martin was able to produce over 14, ukuleles in the newly enlarged factory. In , Martin added the Style 1C concert ukulele, a larger model the same size as the taropatch. While the taropatch had been offered with four strings since its introduction, the new concert model was different in that it had a narrower neck and a standard soprano-size bridge.

It was added to the standard catalog that year and by it was outselling all taropatch models combined. In , an even larger Style 1T tenor ukulele was introduced. The concert and tenor ukuleles were each only made in one standard style, although they could be special-ordered in fancier styles right up to the Style 5K. Martin worker Earl Hartzell mans the sander in the only known photo of Martin ukulele production in the s. Later in the s, ukulele sales began a long steady decline, exacerbated by the stock market crash of and the depression of the s.

Still, the ukulele craze had allowed the company to both expand and build up a financial surplus that helped get them through these hard times. As ukulele production dropped off, guitar production ramped up, and in the s Martin moved into its golden era of guitar-building.

After more than 50 years in charge, an aging F. Martin was in the process of turning the company over to his son C. The elder Martin died in April , as ukulele sales were beginning a resurgence. No more taropatches were made after As koa supplies tightened in the late s, koa ukulele models were slowly eliminated. The Style 5K was dropped in and replaced with the short-lived Style 5 model made from curly mahogany. This pearl-inlayed model was discontinued in , after only 20 had been made. By the end of the war, all koa ukulele models had been discontinued.

After the war, Martin seemed content to build just its standard ukulele models, all in mahogany. In , Martin sold over 5, ukuleles, the most sold in any year since Ukulele sales in the U. Ukuleles were again an important part of the Martin business. Even after the surge around , Martin continued to sell two to three thousand ukuleles every year until the mids. In , Martin added a larger baritone ukulele, Style B51, to the line.

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In the s, as guitar sales grew, ukulele sales faded. By , Martin was making just four ukulele models—Style 0 and Style 3 sopranos, the 1T tenor, and the baritone. Martin also built mandolins introduced in , ukuleles introduced in , taropatches an 8-stringed ukulele , tiples a stringed ukulele , Hawaiian guitars, and tenor banjos in plus a few custom instruments. Martin workers are allowed to build a guitar for their own use after they have been with the company a stipulated period. Some of these turn up and vary from the standard instruments, but they are usually very nice and are frequently signed by the maker.

One good way of dating old Martin ukuleles is the headstock. First, they stamped the logo on the back of the peghead from circa Then they started putting decals on the front of the headstock in So if you don't have a decal, it's pre, if you have both decal and stamp, it was built between and Yours does not have that.


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Your pictures aren't clear enough for me to tell if they have T-frets as opposed to bar-frets but that's the impression I am getting. Bar frets were phased out on guitars in the early thirties but soprano and concert ukes still had them up to WWII when ukes were discontinued for a few years. I would certainly be looking at treating it to a hard case. Inexpensive protection for a very nice instrument. A set of fluorocarbon strings to bring out the depth of tone these are capable of having would also be on my list.

The new Martin strings and Worth Clear are getting high praises. I have the black Fremont on mine and like the sound. I found nylon strings a bit flabby by comparison. Eventually, a moderator will move this to the Four String Funhouse. Thanks for all the help. These frets are wider than the tang with a "T" shape. Bar frets are the same width from top to bottom. Bar frets on my old '30s 1K. I'd guess your Style 0 was made between about and In the late s and early s Martin used Kluson tuners like the ones below on their Style 0 ukuleles: I don't know exactly when they switched to the style of tuner on your ukulele but it was probably about the mid s.

I received a Martin Style O from a very good friend a fews Christmases ago that looks "almost" exactly like Korby's. Same color, same tuners, same soft case,same frets, However, mine does have the made in USA stamp. So what age would mine be? Weird to see one of those cotton canvass bags that hasn't rotted away and fallen apart. Mike and Uku , Thank you both for your knowledgable replies. The friend that gave it to me said he thought it was 50's or 60's but, my reasearch also said it was pretty wide open until or so.

I was completely unaware or the USA stamp information before now so it does help narrow down by one decade.

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how to date a martin uke - The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum

Mike, Actually the canvas case is in very good condition overall. There is a couple small holes where two of the tuner buttons touch the canvas on the back. The plastic piping on the edges is uncracked , the stitching is perfect, and the zipper works fine.


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  • I would love to have a hard case like you have.

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