12/04/2013

c.1940 Harmony-made Silvertone Soprano Ukulele




In 1939 Sears dropped the "Supertone" branding on their catalog-sold instruments and replaced it with "Silvertone" branding. I'm pretty sure that this Silvertone uke dates to shortly after the change as it has all the specs for an early-40s Harmony-made uke. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure...!

This uke came in via a buddy of mine and work included regluing a couple braces and cleating/gluing up two above-soundhole cracks and one below-soundhole (tiny) crack on the top. I also gave it a fret level/dress and a setup and cleaning.




This is a nice little player with a sweet, warm tone. The whole thing is made from solid mahogany save the fretboard which is thin rosewood. The action is a hair under 3/32" at the 12th fret which makes it a nicer crossover uke for fingerpicking and strumming.


I love the headstock shape.


Mini faux-pearl dots. The frets are brass, too, and the board is wider than average for Chicago makes (a feature typical of Harmony ukes) with a thinner front-to-back profile as well. This uke has a 13 7/8" scale which makes it a little longer than normal for a soprano, too, but spot-on for the "super soprano" ukes Harmony was making at the time like the Roy Smeck "tenor" models which were actually roughly 14" scale instruments and thus somewhere between soprano and concert (like this guy) in size.



The bridge was (amazingly) glued on tight.


I like the two-tone sunburst found throughout!





The original bakelite-buttoned friction pegs were supplemented with rubber pads at some point in time which keeps them from slipping a bit better and helps keep them turning smoothly. I like!




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