Dating a martin ukulele

Martin Ukuleles Ukes info vintage history

dating a martin ukulele

i have a guy trying to sell me a old martin uke i cant play one an i dont have a clue what its worth any help would be great just tell me what you. A customer brought an old vintage Martin into our shop today to value it and possibly sell it. From what I can tell, I believe it's from the 's but. In , Martin started making ukuleles in Hawaiian koa wood. These instruments had There are several ways to date your Martin ukulele. Martin put a stamp.

how to date a martin uke - The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum

Style 1, Style 2, and Style 3. The Style 2 was almost identical to the Style 1, the only difference being the white celluloid binding around the top and back. The Style 3 was the original top-of-the-line Martin ukulele. It featured wider white and black celluloid binding on the top and back and around the sound hole. There were also black and white stripes inlayed down the center of the extended, fret fretboard. In addition, a celluloid ornament was inlayed on the bottom edge of the top of the body below the bridge, and another kite-shaped piece of celluloid was inlayed on the headstock.

All three models featured wooden friction pegs. Ditson had Martin stamp its ukuleles with the Ditson brand, and these ukuleles also received a unique set of serial numbers. By July oforders for ukuleles were coming in so rapidly that Martin dropped serial numbers altogether, after putting numbers in Martin-labeled ukuleles and for Ditson.

At this time, Martin made other additions to the ukulele line.

dating a martin ukulele

These models had the same features as the standard Martin line, but had a different body shape. The wider Ditson ukuleles mirrored the shape of the new guitars that Martin was also making for Ditson.

By the end ofall had fretboard position markers.

Identify Your Vintage Martin – Caveat Emptor – The Ukulele Dude

Styles 1 and 2 had four small celluloid dots, one at the fifth fret, two at the seventh, and one at the ninth. The Style 3 had fancier pearl inlays, two squares each on the 5th and 9th frets, and two diamonds on the 7th. After Ditson ordered a large number of ukuleles with markers on the 10th fret instead of the 9th, Martin made that the standard on all of its ukuleles. Archival shots of the Style 5K and Style 1 used in promotional materials.

ByMartin was enlarging the factory to help keep up with the demand for ukuleles, as well as expanding guitar sales. When ukulele sales dropped off a little inmany in the music business believed that the ukulele fad had run its course. Perhaps the drop in sales in is what inspired Martin to add two new models to the ukulele line. Late inMartin added the Style 0, its plainest and least expensive model. At the same time, it also introduced the top-of-the-line Style 5K.

Although, due to its price, the 5K never sold in large numbers, the model helped establish Martin in the minds of many as the maker of the finest ukuleles in the world. InMartin made almost 5, ukuleles, making it obvious that the ukulele fad was far from over. Early that year, Martin sent letters to many of its large ukulele purchasers offering to make these special customer models, marked only with the name of the retailer and featuring adornments unique to the particular retailer.

These customer models allowed Martin to move into new territories and greatly expand sales. Because of their special features, customer model ukuleles had to be purchased in large quantities and ordered well in advance of when they were needed.

dating a martin ukulele

Advertisement As sales soared init must have been difficult for Martin to meet the needs of its older established network of dealers while also producing so many slightly different new customer models. By late in the year, Martin was already starting to move away from the new costumer models.

NAMM 2016 - Martin Ukuleles

They still offered to mark ukuleles with other brand names, but they offered only the standard ukulele models and soon began marking them all with the Martin name as well as the name of the retailer. While the original interest in ukuleles had grown out of the Hawaiian music craze of the mid- to late-teens, the resurgence in the ukulele market in the s was due to the instrument finding its place in all types of popular music.

Ukulele players were releasing records and performing on the radio and in vaudeville. Another big change that occurred in the early s was when sheet music publishers started adding ukulele chords to their sheet music. This surely boosted sales of both sheet music and ukuleles. Martin added a large new wing to the factory inand then needed to add a second floor to that wing the very next year, as sales continued to climb.

It was likely the first time in the history of the company that it was completely unable to meet the demand for its instruments. The company even had to resort to something it never would have dreamed of just a few years earlier—turning away all new customers until it could catch up with the order backlog.

dating a martin ukulele

Ukulele orders peaked inwhen approximately 15, ukuleles were ordered. However only about 11, could be built that year, and they started with over 5, ukuleles backordered. InMartin actually temporarily halted production of its most popular ukulele model—the Style 0—to help them catch up with demand. InMartin was able to produce over 14, ukuleles in the newly enlarged factory. InMartin added the Style 1C concert ukulele, a larger model the same size as the taropatch.

While the taropatch had been offered with four strings since its introduction, the new concert model was different in that it had a narrower neck and a standard soprano-size bridge. It was added to the standard catalog that year and by it was outselling all taropatch models combined.

Inan even larger Style 1T tenor ukulele was introduced. The concert and tenor ukuleles were each only made in one standard style, although they could be special-ordered in fancier styles right up to the Style 5K.

Martin worker Earl Hartzell mans the sander in the only known photo of Martin ukulele production in the s. After The Party, A Lull, Then A Rebirth Later in the s, ukulele sales began a long steady decline, exacerbated by the stock market crash of and the depression of the s. Still, the ukulele craze had allowed the company to both expand and build up a financial surplus that helped get them through these hard times.

As ukulele production dropped off, guitar production ramped up, and in the s Martin moved into its golden era of guitar-building. The sound of these instruments is distinctively different than any other.

Identify Your Vintage Martin – Caveat Emptor

And educating myself on identifying the different styles and how to determine the time frame during which it was made. My primary source is the definitive reference, The Martin Ukulele: The archives of the C. Martin Company were used by the authors to create this volume.

dating a martin ukulele

This book has the history of the instrument within the Martin Company as well as pages of information about the differences between the Styles and the years certain changes were made. I have seen many listings on eBay and Reverb where the seller has mis-identified the instrument they have for sale, usually it is an error determining between the Style 0 and the Style 1. Considering that the vast majority of the Martins were one of these two Styles, differentiating is important.

Knowing the difference can allow you to find a good deal at a reasonable price. Determining the Style It is relatively simple to determine the Style. Martin has had five Styles, or quality levels, of instruments that they produced. They began with just four, Style 1, Style 2, Style 3 and Style 5. There is no information about what happened to the Style 4.

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The market indicated the need for a lower end model, so they created the Style 0.