c.1938 Supertone by Harmony OO Guitar

What's that? Another Harmony-made 14-fret OO guitar from the '30s in the space of a week? Heck yeah! This is one of those super-rare guitars that Harmony really got right... and considering its depression-era origins, it's a bruiser. Solid spruce top, birch back and sides, and a curly-birch neck with slotted headstock and 14-fret join... so... access to those frets, that Martin-ish 14-fret tone, bigger 14+" OO body size, but with ladder-braced response and snap and "parlor"-ish looks.

Yup, it's cool

I had to replace the bridge on this guitar, which I did with a new (vintage parts bin) ebony one in a semi-Guild-looking pattern. I also had to totally refinish the top because, previously, it had been "refinished" horribly, with a giant "JESUS SAVES" painted across the top... under the finish. While the top does display some wear & tear from its past, it's turned out pretty nice methinks, and is in keeping with the vintage look of the rest of the instrument.

Original bone nut, cool slotted headstock, original tuners.

MOP dots inlaid. Board is... eh... some sort of ebonized hardwood.

This ebony bridge does a nice job boosting tone. Saddle is some sort of Tusq-like substance.

Date stamp for Fall 1938 and Sears-brand "Supertone" label.

Back and sides are solid birch, with back seams in some places hastily (but sturdily) reglued. Sunburst finish is original.

When I got the guitar the neck was at a pretty poor angle so I've reset it.

Someone had a tailpiece on it at one point! Missing the end pin, and unfortunately I ran out of them in my parts box.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jake
14 fret neck, 14" wide, spruce top ? To me, this looks like a stripped Gene Autry "Round up" cowboy guitar (model 238 in natural or 243 in sunburst). I may be wrong but can't find any natural finished similar models... But you did a great job with the bridge and overall finish.
Fran├žois from the Harmony database website

Antebellum Instruments said...

Hi Francois -- I'd agree on that supposition. I've only seen a few of these that haven't had the Gene Autry scene, and they were all sunbursts. Thanks for the info. Jake