Dating stella harmony guitars
Harmony was the largest US guitar manufacturer between the 1930s and late 1960s.
At the height of the guitar boom in the mid-1960s, Harmony was building more than 1000 instruments per day.
High-end Harmony flat tops feature solid mahogany and solid spruce components. Although "x-bracing" is somewhat more labor intensive than ladder-bracing, this was not the primary reason Stella guitars were made using this bracing technique.
The Martin 00-size body mold delivers classic proportions regardless of tone woods but this example ended being one of my best blends of old and new.
Hey Zach, I have a Harmony archtop acoustic with the following numbers inside: F-63-HB and 3714H1213. And you’re right— most Harmony guitars aren’t worth much, or in other words, they aren’t very collectible.
The work force at the Oscar Schmidt factory in Jersey City was to a large extent comprised of European-trained craftsmen.
The guitars they produced were ladder braced, not because it was the "cheap" way to build a guitar, but because this was the customary way steel stringed guitars were built in Italy, France and Germany until the mid-twentieth century.