Hi chaps, first post!
I've been interested in Strad-o-lins for some time, and this spring I took the plunge and bought the 'Homenick & Drittell' mandolin that users of this group have spotted on eBay a couple of times.
The instrument made its way over from Las Vegas to Somerset in the west of England a couple of months back. I've done a kitchen table photo of the front, and my best shot of the Homenick label inside the right f-hole. (Sorry, no studio lighting available.) This also shows off the grain of what seems to be a nice, if rather coarse-grained, spruce top. I will try to attach them if I can figure out the system.
My experience is limited, but I'd say it's definitely a Strad-o-lin -- body shape, f-hole configuration, neck, headstock and other appointments all mark it as one of the family. It has no logo, a maple back and proper bindings to fingerboard and top but is otherwise pretty standard.
The instrument turned up missing strings, bridge and tailpiece cover, with a minor split in the top, ad coated in the heaviest player gunk I ever saw in my life. I got most of it off with 10ml of lemon oil, but the deep clean you see in the photos is due to the excellent Laurence Parnell of Frome, who did a wonderful job of putting the instrument back on the road.
It's a pretty good sounding instrument, not quite as good as my Vega but very nice indeed for $250 all in with a new set of strings. And I have to say that the neck is one of the best I've ever played.
Happy to answer questions if it will shed any light on the 'who made the Strad-o-lins' question...
fascinating how many names were put on those Stradolins
If you watch Ebay you should be able to get a cloud or shell tailpiece. They come up fairly regularly. cloud at roughly $30 and shell at maybe $15. Buy the entire tailpiece incuding mount because the tailpiece cover you find may not fit your existing tailpiece unit.