Since serial numbers weren't introduced until , approximate dating of the earlier guitars can be accomplished by knowing when Martin made changes to their labels or to the brand, which can be found stamped into the back of the head, the upper part of the back, and just inside the soundhole on the long strut which reinforces the back joint. Until the brand read "C. Martin New York", when it was changed to "C. New York. From before until Charles A.
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Bergstrom of the Bergstrom Music Co. It seems likely that he was the first to introduce the ukulele to Frank Henry, who was always willing to take on new projects at Martin.
In December of that year, Bergstrom ordered six ukuleles from Martin as a trial to determine the price that Martin would charge.
It would be a few more years before Martin received its next request for ukuleles. In the only letter in the Martin archives that discusses their decision to enter the ukulele market, F. In the summer ofMartin began experimenting with ukulele construction. In October of that year, the company shipped its first two ukuleles out on a special order to a music teacher in Trenton, New Jersey.
InMartin saw the demand for its ukuleles increase greatly, and although Smith and Ditson were its biggest customers, orders stated to come in from around the country, despite the fact that Martin had not yet advertised this new product or added it to the catalog.
When Martin produced its first ukulele pamphlet insoprano ukuleles were featured in three models: Style 1, Style 2, and Style 3.
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The Style 2 was almost identical to the Style 1, the only difference being the white celluloid binding around the top and back. The Style 3 was the original top-of-the-line Martin ukulele.
Martin ukuleles have been the world's finest since , and they have long been prized for their full-bodied voice and great volume. Find out more about owning a Martin ukulele. In the range was cut back so only the single soundhole ring versions were made but sometime during the 40's the fretboard length was increased to 13 frets on Sopranos. In an early attempt at an electric Ukulele was tried by fitting special steel strings and a pickup to a Tenor. Jonah Kumalae was an ivory carver turned Ukulele Maker. He won an award at the Panama Pacific Exposition of l for design. He went on to become the most prolific builders of Ukuleles in the Islands. He built until about l He was most famous for making Ukes for other manufacturers and dealers. His Ukes are well built and he used very.
It featured wider white and black celluloid binding on the top and back and around the sound hole. There were also black and white stripes inlayed down the center of the extended, fret fretboard.
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In addition, a celluloid ornament was inlayed on the bottom edge of the top of the body below the bridge, and another kite-shaped piece of celluloid was inlayed on the headstock. All three models featured wooden friction pegs.
Ditson had Martin stamp its ukuleles with the Ditson brand, and these ukuleles also received a unique set of serial numbers. By July oforders for ukuleles were coming in so rapidly that Martin dropped serial numbers altogether, after putting numbers in Martin-labeled ukuleles and for Ditson.
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At this time, Martin made other additions to the ukulele line. These models had the same features as the standard Martin line, but had a different body shape. The wider Ditson ukuleles mirrored the shape of the new guitars that Martin was also making for Ditson.
By the end ofall had fretboard position markers. Styles 1 and 2 had four small celluloid dots, one at the fifth fret, two at the seventh, and one at the ninth.
The Style 3 had fancier pearl inlays, two squares each on the 5th and 9th frets, and two diamonds on the 7th. After Ditson ordered a large number of ukuleles with markers on the 10th fret instead of the 9th, Martin made that the standard on all of its ukuleles.
Ukuleles didn't have serial numbers, but Craig Thompson wrote, "I recently talked to the ukulele expert, Mike, at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto. One good way of dating old Martin ukuleles is the headstock. First, they stamped the logo on the back of the peghead (from circa ). THREE DIGIT SERIES (Number range) YEAR MADE: Comment: Three digits in red ink: (Feb-Nov) New Hartford; three digits in red ink: Ukulele players all over the world have direct access to UkuTabs its large and completely free song archive which is constantly being ated with new songs. UkuTabs is part of the UkuWorld network which also offers ukulele tips & guides, ukulele scales, chord charts, an ukulele tuner and much more!
Archival shots of the Style 5K and Style 1 used in promotional materials. ByMartin was enlarging the factory to help keep up with the demand for ukuleles, as well as expanding guitar sales. When ukulele sales dropped off a little inmany in the music business believed that the ukulele fad had run its course. Perhaps the drop in sales in is what inspired Martin to add two new models to the ukulele line.
Late inMartin added the Style 0, its plainest and least expensive model. At the same time, it also introduced the top-of-the-line Style 5K. Although, due to its price, the 5K never sold in large numbers, the model helped establish Martin in the minds of many as the maker of the finest ukuleles in the world. InMartin made almost 5, ukuleles, making it obvious that the ukulele fad was far from over.
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Early that year, Martin sent letters to many of its large ukulele purchasers offering to make these special customer models, marked only with the name of the retailer and featuring adornments unique to the particular retailer. These customer models allowed Martin to move into new territories and greatly expand sales.
Martin Ukulele Models: Martin 0m, 1m, 2m, 3m, 0k, 1k, 2k, 3k, 5k. Ukuleles were in highest production from to the 's, though still manufactured in quantity until Production quantities during some periods were as great as Martin guitars. Martin ukes are considered to be the best for craftsmenship and sound. In dating Kamaka ukuleles, the headstock decal and the interior label are significant. The trademark "double K" decal was used on Kamaka ukuleles beginning in This decal was used in conjunction with an interior gold label bearing the words "Kamaka Ukulele" in red and black lettering that matched the font of the decal. May 31, From the Summer issue of Ukulele | BY TOM WALSH. O ne hundred years ago, in , C. F. Martin & Co. published its first ukulele pamphlet, announcing the company's newest instrument to the general public and its entire network of music stores, teachers, and players. To say that Martin's ukuleles were a success is a major understatement. In alone, Martin sold nearly 2, .
Single bound back. Celluloid ornament on top, behind bridge known as the "parend".
Bar frets. Small pearl paired-diamond inlays at fret 5, 7, 9.
Nut of 3 ply plastic. Kite-shaped celluloid peghead ornament. Friction pegs. Koa body. Ivoroid bound top and back with abalone trim. Ivoroid bound ebony fingerboard. Varied snowflake pearl inlays. Koa peghead veneer with pearl-inlaid flowerpot. Patent pegs.
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