1/18/2017

1930s Unmarked Camp-style Ukulele





There are various cheap knockoffs of the 1920s Lyon & Healy "Camp Uke" design, though this is the first one I've seen with a banjo-uke-type tailpiece and floating bridge. I believe this was either made by Harmony or Globe Music and was probably sold as a child's uke or bottom-barrel beginner uke since it has an 11 1/2" scale length rather than the more-usual 13" or so soprano scale. Gretsch made a Camp Uke knockoff as well, but it was full-scale and had a regular bridge.

Materials-wise it's plain-Jane with a birch body and poplar neck. The finish is "utility brown stain" with a satin sealer coat. My work on it included gluing a couple seams, a fret level/dress, install of some parts-bin tuners, a new bridge, and a setup with D'Addario Titanium uke strings. I have it tuned to CFAD above standard GCEA due to the extra-short scale and it's got a fun, chimey sound at that pitch.


There are no cracks, but a few seams are slipped a bit (though reglued).



The bridge is a very-cut-down maple one from my random banjo bridge box.




While the tuner shafts are 1920s/30s in era, the buttons are random 50s/60s ones that fit them.



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