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Thread: A Stradolin manufacturer

  1. #1
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default A Stradolin manufacturer

    Looking through some of music catalogues from the 20s and 30s and came across this page in the Gretch & Brenner catalogue from 1933. The catalogue from the year before had listed a $25 and a $30 Stradolin, both a No. 704 (the difference being a maple or mahogany neck) but by 1933 four models were listed with the top of the line, the No.1000 for $150, described as "P.J.Homenick personal-make".

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Seems helpful to link these two discussions together:

    Homenick Mandolins.

    Any pictures of the No. 1000 model in the catalog, Graham?

    Mick
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    That one is the Artist Model and it is different from the rest. Interesting.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Homenick is listed in the Mugwumps list circa 1940's. They had to be around earlier.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Let me see if this will copy over.

    In the 1940 census Paul Homenick was self employed making musical instruments. He was 55 at the time and living in Queens, NY. Apparently his son Walter was in the same business.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6

    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Fantastic. What was their address in Queens. I see number 3502, but what street?

    Also... a $150.00 strad-o-lin! In the 1930s?!? The F-5 was introduced at what... $200-250? Remember, a professional flat-top guitar from Martin or Gibson could be had for $30-50, and plenty were available for $10.
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  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    I'm thinking this would explain why that mandolin was different from the others. I'll see if the street name was listed on the text that was with the census. Much of the time they don't have all the information. The OCR is only so good.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    I live in Queens and we may be able to narrow it down a bit. Queens numbers are compound with the first two number refering to the cross street. Thus 35-02 was the first building (oppisite 35-01) with a cross street of either 35th Street, or 35 Avenue. Both run through Long Island City which was a manufacturing area. 35 Street extends into Astori which is mostly more residential but still had manufacturing on the northern end.

  10. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    I think the Homenick shop has been identified here before from a city directory.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #10
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    From the thread that Mick mentioned, there is this link with three photos of P. Homenick included in the article. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/humeniuk.htm

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    Registered User resophonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    This is an interesting development and confirms my suspicion that The Homenick Bros. may have built some of these instruments.

    Thanks for posting the catalog page Graham!
    Sucker for a hard luck case

  13. #12

    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    Also... a $150.00 strad-o-lin! In the 1930s?!? The F-5 was introduced at what... $200-250? Remember, a professional flat-top guitar from Martin or Gibson could be had for $30-50, and plenty were available for $10.
    I'm struggling with $150 also. But, there it is in print! Possibly, a "custom shop" type of thing? And, why not picture your "flagship" instrument? Weird. A new Ford was $495 in 1932......and not everybody could own one -- it was the Great Depression.

  14. #13
    Registered User resophonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Probably explains why you see few examples. I wonder how many where actually passed through the Homenick shop?
    Sucker for a hard luck case

  15. #14
    Registered User mandopaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    This was marked 1938 inside and looks to have the upgraded features, but don't think neck is Maple. It sounds really good, nice woody depth tone.

    The ad above refers to the tops being hand carved? I thought these were all steam press tops.
    I also noticed that the ad pictures show a different f hole design than mine, so probably made by a different manuf. Sometimes the headstock is shaped differently, as well as the fretboard extension.

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    Last edited by mandopaul; Apr-26-2017 at 12:16am.

  16. #15
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    The 1933 Gretch & Brenner catalogue was the only one ( of several wholesalers who sold Stradolins in the 30s) that I have found that ever listed the No.1000. Most of the others just listed the No.704 and the 704 1/2, the difference being a maple or a mahogany neck from memory. ( I am away from my main computer for a month and don't have access to those files at the moment) It is possible that the tops and backs on the cheaper models were pressed into shape and then thinned out a little around the edges so they could claim some element of being carved. That is certainly a known violin making technique. Getting some certainty about Homenick's involvement in at least one model fills in some of the puzzle, but not all!
    Cheers

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    This sort of historical "quest" stuff is the thing I must say I find so fascinating about this site! Someone throws "bait" and the fishing for the information begins. Amazing the amount of information that has been amassed by all you learned mandofolk! I feel so "Shultzlike" ("I know NOTHING!") for what feels like years and then I actually do know an answer(or opinion) on something!
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Interesting too that all the model descriptions say "flat back", while at the same time the heading says "carved, arched top and back". Presumably this was to distinguish these as not being the old-world bowl-back design.

    I wonder whether all these models, even the $15 one, could and would really have been all hand carved?? Seems almost unbelievable. Weren't even 19th century fiddle tops and backs being roughed out by carving machines (hand-operated machines, I suppose)?
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  19. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Some were hand carved, mine was. Most were pressed. The Artist model with the Homenick mention in the ad was probably more like a Gibson Sam Bush type thing. Homenick might not have had anything to do with the manufacturing but was paid to endorse with his name. Who knows. The vast majority of the Strad-O-Lins had the bridge placed at the bottom of the F holes. The Artist model is the only one that centered in the middle of the F holes. There were three different f hole shapes if I remember the last time we discussed this.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  20. #19
    Registered User resophonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Here is the link with the other Homenick mandolin that has surfaced.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...-Bros-Mandolin
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  21. #20
    Registered User resophonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Just stumble across this Homenick labeled Strad-O-Lin on Ebay.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/322966506511?ul_noapp=true

    The Homenick inlay looks to be original to me but not the diamond or engraved name ribbon. I would say the fret markers appear suspect as original too. They are rather casual in the placement. Nice flamed maple back and neck.
    Sucker for a hard luck case

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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    From the thread that Mick mentioned, there is this link with three photos of P. Homenick included in the article. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/humeniuk.htm

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    If that top photo is of the right guy, "Paul Homenick" was none other than Pawlo Humeniuk, legendary traditional Ukrainian violinist.

    https://www.amazon.com/King-Ukrainia.../dp/B004IJY2YY

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  24. #22
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Most likely is. Names got anglicized and worse when they go to the US.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  25. #23

    Default Re: A Stradolin manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by resophonic View Post
    Just stumble across this Homenick labeled Strad-O-Lin on Ebay.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/322966506511?ul_noapp=true

    The Homenick inlay looks to be original to me but not the diamond or engraved name ribbon. I would say the fret markers appear suspect as original too. They are rather casual in the placement. Nice flamed maple back and neck.
    A sweet Strad. But quite a high opening price. $400 + tax and shipping and insurance just to get in the door.
    BradKlein
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