9/13/2015

1950s Mauna Loa Plastic Uke


Apparently these Mauna Loa plastic ukes were made by B.W. Molded Plastics, though I'd known before they're definitely from that 50s crop of cheap, functional plastic ukes. There was nothing wrong with this uke when it came in save a need for a light setup and a new set of strings. I also swapped the tuners out for some parts-bin friction ones that actually tightened-up (rather than friction-set violins-tyle plastic pegs).

This is now living in a pile of presents given to a friend at her wedding last night (they're avid campers/hikers and I figured one of these would be perfect due to that weather-impervious bit). I like plastic ukes, really, even though they don't have a traditionally "nice" sound. These Mauna Loas are short on sustain and jangle compared to a Mac Islander, but they are sweet and the "entirely bowling ball purple swirl" finish is endearing.



These Mauna Loas are a little sturdier than your average plastic uke for the time and for a long while I used one as my standard take-along uke in the car and on day trips.










 Grape Ape Swirl, huh?

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