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Thread: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

  1. #26
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  2. #27
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Acoustic Guitar #444
    No image, but here is some information accompanying the instrument from the owner.

    "On or before the 7th. day of Jan. 1936. This Acousti-Guitar #444 if kept in good condition
    may be exchanged at full prevailing price at time of exchange on a Acousti Lectric guitar
    for either acoustic or lectric playing selling for not that $99.00 retail."
    ViVi Tone Company Kalamazoo, Michigan"
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  3. #28
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  4. #29
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    ViViTone Registry to date:
    #3 Electric Guitar
    #4 Clavier- USD Museum (images)
    #9 Mandocello- USD Museum (images)
    #39 Electric Mandola- USD Museum (images)
    #47 Acoustic Guitar- Skinner (images)
    #57 Electric Violin- USD (images)
    #67 Acoustic Guitar
    #93 Acoustic Electric Guitar- Retro fret (images)
    #300 Electric Guitar- USD Museum (images)
    #338 Acoustic Mandolin- Intermountain and personal (images)
    #383 Acoustic Guitar- Players Vintage Instruments (images)
    #444 Acoustic Guitar
    #484 Acoustic Guitar- Chicago Music Exchange #580 2014 (images)
    #485 Acoustic Guitar- Elderly Instruments (images)
    #491 Acoustic/ Electric Guitar- Folkway Music (images)
    #508- Acoustic Guitar- Elderly Instruments (images)
    #511 Acoustic Guitar- Ebay (images)
    #623 Electric Guitar- USD (images)
    #625- Acoustic Guitar- Spruce Tree/ Fretboard Journal (images)

    six instruments with no serial number information

    Please note Serial #67 was stolen years ago: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/sho....php?t=1217627
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  5. #30
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I received an email from Lowell Levinger stating that his two Mandolins at Player Vintage Instruments do not have serial numbers.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  6. #31
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    A new addition to the registry: Acoustic Guitar #564 with images from dealer on Ebay. Note the image of the Label:"On or before 30th day of Nov 1936 this Acousti-Guitar No 564 if kept in good condition, may be exchanged at full prevailing price at the time of exchange on the Acousti-Lectric Guitar for either acoustic or electric playing selling for not less than $99.00 retail. VIVI-TONE COMPANY- Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  7. #32
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Nice detective work, Ben! I am happy to see more of the ideas Mr. Loar put forth so far ahead of his time. What would he think of what we have at our fingertips now!?
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  9. #33
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I noticed after my most recent post something interesting regarding the exchange of the acoustic version for an electric version: On or before the 7th. day of Jan. 1936 vs. On or before 30th day of Nov 1936. What could this mean... a year after purchase perhaps?
    I have not seen this or heard about this exchange for mandolins, but there is this electric/acoustic mandolin from Grandpa Banana.Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  10. #34
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    There was a ViViTone electric tenor guitar on eBay some years back. Wish I knew what happened to it.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  12. #35
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin T View Post
    A new addition to the registry: Acoustic Guitar #564 with images from dealer on Ebay. Note the image of the Label:"On or before 30th day of Nov 1936 this Acousti-Guitar No 564 if kept in good condition, may be exchanged at full prevailing price at the time of exchange on the Acousti-Lectric Guitar for either acoustic or electric playing selling for not less than $99.00 retail. VIVI-TONE COMPANY- Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As it turns out, I just received Guitar #564. I was examining the guitar and found that the instrument has "fairy frets" and the bridge (made in two part) has a compensated wooden on one side of the upper half and a steel notched saddle on the other. What are your thoughts on this option? Could it be for setting up the guitar as a lap steel, hawaiian guitar, or dobro. When talking with a woman who used to play on the radio in Michigan in the 30s, she mentioned the Hawaiian craze and how she was under the same spell.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  13. #36
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    A new addition to the registry: Acoustic Guitar #663 with images from dealer, Huber Breese on Reverb. This instrument has a Grover tailpiece, a different logo design on the headstock, and a two sound holes that would be beneath the bridge (an interesting variation.)Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  14. #37
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    #625 and #663 both have the Two sound hole feature on their tops.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  15. #38
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    This is an interesting thread to say the least!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  16. #39
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry


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  18. #40
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Here is the instrument Charlieshafer mentioned above- #283-"Rare Vintage 1935 Lloyd Loar Vivitone Acoustic Guitar! w/ HSC"Click image for larger version. 

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    This guitar has "chrome" hardware. The two piece bridge is simliar to design seen on Gibson L-5s from the early 20s.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  19. #41

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin T View Post
    A new addition to the registry: Acoustic Guitar #564 with images from dealer on Ebay. Note the image of the Label:"On or before 30th day of Nov 1936 this Acousti-Guitar No 564 if kept in good condition, may be exchanged at full prevailing price at the time of exchange on the Acousti-Lectric Guitar for either acoustic or electric playing selling for not less than $99.00 retail. VIVI-TONE COMPANY- Kalamazoo, Michigan
    I don't know what this might mean to this thread, I'll let you collectors and builders tell me. I think what they are offering is the exchange of this Vivi-Tone brand acoustic guitar for an Acousti-Lectric brand guitar (either acoustic or electric model). Vivi-Tone acquired and absorbed the Acousti-Lectric Company of Detroit in January 1934 and then moved the Vivi-Tone company to Detroit in 1935. So this label was probably printed after Jan. 1934, but before Vivi-tone moved their operations to Detroit in mid to late 1935.
    Joyce

    All facts are important, it's just the context that changes - Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray

    Guitar, brown with six strings.

    Not really, it's a 1976 Alvarez, model 5059

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  21. #42

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    For what it's worth, I just found a Kalamazoo newspaper article dated February 21, 1936 entitled "Vivi-Tone plant moves to Detroit." It appears they moved their operations at the beginning of 1936.
    Joyce

    All facts are important, it's just the context that changes - Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray

    Guitar, brown with six strings.

    Not really, it's a 1976 Alvarez, model 5059

  22. The following members say thank you to travellerbytrade for this post:


  23. #43
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by travellerbytrade View Post
    For what it's worth, I just found a Kalamazoo newspaper article dated February 21, 1936 entitled "Vivi-Tone plant moves to Detroit." It appears they moved their operations at the beginning of 1936.
    travellerbytrade is that a hard copy that you found or an online source? Is an image available?
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  24. #44

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin T View Post
    travellerbytrade is that a hard copy that you found or an online source? Is an image available?
    It's from the online index of the Gazette at the Kalamazoo Public Library here http://kzpl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/KPL/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:393511/one?qu=vivitone+detroit&lm=LOCAL_INDX

    Dang, that's quite a link. On the KPL website, click "catalog" then choose "local indexes" with search terms "vivitone + Detroit." This edition of the Gazette is on microfilm at the library. They have copy services.

    Maybe I can get down there this week and make a copy for you. They also have a biography-type file on Vivitone, but I've seen it. It's quite thin and there isn't anything earth shattering in it.
    Joyce

    All facts are important, it's just the context that changes - Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray

    Guitar, brown with six strings.

    Not really, it's a 1976 Alvarez, model 5059

  25. #45
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    #312 Acoustic Guitar, Japan
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  26. #46

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Hi,
    here is my contribution to the registry :
    1935 Vivitone guitar
    France
    The pickup and the tailpiece were lacking, I rebuilt them.
    The tailpiece were cut in an old pressure cooker.
    No serial number, neither label.

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    Best regards

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  28. #47
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Neidhardt, Incredible!!! Beautiful work! Is that a painted white stripe down the back of the neck? What was the issue with the back? Loose braces? What type of music do you enjoy playing on it?
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  29. #48

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin T View Post
    Neidhardt, Incredible!!! Beautiful work! Is that a painted white stripe down the back of the neck? What was the issue with the back? Loose braces? What type of music do you enjoy playing on it?
    Thank you for your comment. The white stripe is an inlay, in the same material as the headstock veneer, a kind of ivoroid. The neck shape is quite big, not easy to play. I fixed and glued the braces on the back. This guitar sounds great in open tuning for slide playing, but I'm not specialized in this music (I most play acoustic and electric jazz, from swing to bop). But friends of mine like to play it with fingerpicking style.

  30. #49

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Benjamin, have you any idea how many guitars were built (vivitone & acousti-lectric) ?

  31. #50
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Neidhardt View Post
    Benjamin, have you any idea how many guitars were built (vivitone & acousti-lectric) ?
    The registry contains instruments with numerical designations from #3 to #663.
    27 instruments are registered with serial numbers

    31 instruments are in the registry
    22 guitars (Electric and Acoustic)
    1 Clavier
    1 Mandocello
    1 Tenor Guitar
    1 Electric Mandola
    2 Electric Violin
    3 Mandolin
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

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