Hawaiian lap     steel

 Hermann     Weissenborn



 Electric lap     steel



 WEISSENBORN STYLES                                                               [esp.]

Style 1

Style 1 was the flagship of the Weissenborn Co. Ltd. Most guitars sold during the 1923-1936 period were style 1, same sounding instrument as the fancy style 4, but much more simple in design and finish terms. Customers in that era either chose between the basic style 1 or the top model, style 4. Styles 2 and 3 were the least built. Style 1 instruments have no body or fingerboard binding. There are three concentric wood circles inlaid around the soundhole, and single mother-of-pearl dot markers at frets five, seven, nine, 12, and 17. "Bat-wing" bridges with metal saddles were standard on all Weissenborns. Spruce tops were optional (but rare) on Styles 1 and 2.

Not much time ago, there were only a few original known. Since brought to attention of public many more are turning up as people realises that that good old sounding guitar they´ve got on the junk room is really well paid on these days. We´re pretty sure more will be "waking up" soon.

The picture on the right is from the collection of the Folk Music Centre in Claremont, CA ( Ben Harper´s family guitar shop). As the FMC say on this instruments "This is a rare Style 1 Weissenborn Guitar (one of 2 known) with a photo of Herman Weissenborn on the label[...]It is historically important because it connects Chris J. Knutsen's Hawaiian lap steel guitars and the development of the resonator guitar and subsequently electric guitars. Hermann Weissenborn lived and worked in Los Angeles making guitars from about 1914 to 1936 Weissenborn improved and perfected Knutsen's original model."

Below pictures are from the FRETS.COM museum and a weissenborn style 1 sold at eBay.com.

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