Harmony Company models


Harmony Company models

The Harmony Company of Illinois, United States, manufactured a wide variety of musical instruments which were popular during most of the 20th century. This article is devoted to documenting these instruments.

= Numbering convention =

Harmony's model numbers consisted of an 'H' followed by a 2 to 4 digit number. The 'H' stood for the name of the company.

= Model and date stamps =

Harmony hollow-body instruments were marked with inkstamps within the body of the instrument. A model/batch number of the form nnnnHmmmm where 'nnnn' is a batch number and 'mmmm' is a model number ('6072H950' for example would be an H950 model). They were also stamped with a date stamp with the season and two-digit year ('F-45' would indicate the instrument was manufactured in the fall of 1945). Only 'F-xx' and 'S-xx' are found as date stamps, S could be summer, perhaps Harmony synchronized its orders with the main catalog distributors (as Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Wards). A former Harmony employee reported a different scheme: "We worked 10 hours, 5 days a week, any 8 more every Saturday. That was both shifts. I believe the "F" and "S" on the serial numbers was for first or second shift."

= OEM models =

Harmony was also an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for several other brands, most notably Silvertone. OEM models were typically very similar to a Harmony instrument but with cosmetic differences.

= Models =

Guitars

Acoustic flat top guitars

* H162 - Spruce-topped 000-sized guitar. Very common.
* H165 - Similar to H162 but all mahogany.

Sovereign

The Sovereign series was Harmony's higher-end flattop line.

* H164 - Similar to H162 but with Sovereign logo and black finish.
* H1203
* H1204
* H1260
* H1270 - 12 string

Acoustic archtop guitars

Harmony's archtop acoustic models differ most significantly in the woods used, the body size, and the finish. Mahogany, spruce, or birch were used on most models (or a combination thereof). The body sizes were termed by Harmony as "auditorium" (16" body width?) and "grand auditorium" (17" body width?) sizes.

Some common features displayed in these models are solid wood construction, F-shaped sound holes, and a steel non-adjustable truss rod.

Archtone

* H1213
* H1214
* H1215
* H1215T (tenor guitar)
* H1222
* H6415

Broadway

* H954
* H955
* H961

Catalina

* H1220
* H1221

Cremona

* H1300
* H1301
* H1302
* H1303
* H1304
* H1306
* H1307
* H1308

Master

* H1439
* H1444
* H945

Monterey

* H1320
* H1325
* H1327 - Spruce top, unknown (probably birch) back and sides, rosewood fretboard. Earlier specimens featured 15.5" lower bouts but later the model was given the larger 16.5" lower bout. There is an intricate wood inlay all around the top edge binding in a "herringbone" pattern.
* H1456
* H1457
* H1820T (tenor guitar)
* H6450
* H950 "Leader" - Birch top, back, and sides. Tiger flame red sunburst against black. Sunburst is smaller on older models.
* H951
* H952 "Colorama"
* H953 "Colorama"
* H996

Montclair

* H956

Patrician

* H1403
* H1406
* H1407
* H1408
* H1410
* H1414
* H1415
* H1450
* H1453

Electric guitars

Stratotone

* H44 "Stratotone" - One of the more sought-after electric models. Used by several popular musicians such as Ritchie Valens and Tom Waits.
* H47 "Stratotone Mercury" - Hollowbody, one DeArmond "goldfoil" pickup.

Others

* H75, H76 (with Bigsby), H77, H78 (with Bigsby), H79 (12 string) - A family of similar thin hollowbody electric guitars with 3 pickups.

Mandolins

Ukuleles or ukeleles

Violins

= External Links =
* [http://harmonyguitars.com Harmony Guitars] - the Harmony Guitar company website.
* [http://harmony.demont.net Harmony Database] - an extensive non official resource for Harmony guitars.


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