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Thread: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

  1. #26
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    You need a picture of the inside edge of the sound hole to have anyone tell you if it's solid. The tuners without screws dates your mandolin to WWII or just after.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You need a picture of the inside edge of the sound hole to have anyone tell you if it's solid. The tuners without screws dates your mandolin to WWII or just after.
    Thanks for the quick response. The top is definitely solid. Wood grain on the inside and on the edge of the sound holes is obvious. It's the back and sides that don't look it to me. Can't really see any definitive grain at all, even looking at the outside of the back. When did laminate instruments first start popping up? It doesn't matter too much to me because I really like it and it's not a collectors item so I'm not interested in selling it at any point. Just curious about it. I guess if I ever put in an end pin I'd find out about the sides. Now I just have a lace through the gap in the tail piece and it seems to work just fine.

  3. #28
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaybp30 View Post
    ... When did laminate instruments first start popping up?...Just curious about it...
    In their 1977 book Guitars, Tom and Mary Anne Evans illustrate (p. 48) a guitar made by Louis Panormo of London in 1822, with a laminated back of rosewood over spruce. Quite a few of the earlier, 17th and 18th century guitars had laminated necks, but this was done with the dual objectives of appearance, and of strengthening the neck against warpage under string tension.

    The use of laminated wood as a cost-saving factor probably began in the early 20th century; Washburn mandolins were shown in their 1922 catalog as "3-ply back and sides" for less expensive models. (Pleijsier, Washburn Prewar Instrument Styles, p. 160.)

    Not sure when laminated tops were introduced; as far as I know, Gibson didn't make laminated-top mandolins, although Gibson's import brand Epiphone has all-plywood, less expensive mandolins in their line.
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  4. #29
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Kay was selling laminated sides and backs as a feature in the 30's. Lyon and Healy actually used laminated sides on some of their Washburn guitars, again as a feature, that kept them from cracking. I haven't seen any laminated tops on Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins until the later years, the 50's.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Interesting that it was once a "feature". Well my top is definitely solid by I am quite confident the rest is laminate.

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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

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  7. #32

    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    People in the military, when I was in, were required to mark all of their personal belongings with a driver's license, service number, or social security number just in case it were stolen or someone thought it was government issue. So, perhaps these numbers are for that reason?
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  8. #33
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Back in the 70's pretty much every police department in every large city in the country suggested you engrave an identifying number like your social security or drivers license number on valuable personal items so they could be identified as yours if they were recovered after being stolen. You see it all the time on eBay. It was the advent of the inexpensive personal engraver market.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=engraver
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    These days if you did that you'd get the double whammy of having your item stolen followed by good old fashioned identity theft.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    I think those kluson tuners with cover plates are from 1941- and possibly used into 1942 when metal became scarce. I have never seen them on mandolins except those Stradolins featured at this site. However, the Sivertone catalogue for 1941 actually shows them- the guitar versions which I have on a 1941 Silvertone Crest. They are shown on the top right of this page while the blurb for the Crest further down mentions them in the textClick image for larger version. 

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  11. #36

    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Further to my above post, this Stradolin which needs work but is currently at a low price has those enclosed Kluson tuners. I will also post this at the ebay discussion thread:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-man...emCondition=10

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  13. #37
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Further to my above post, this Stradolin which needs work but is currently at a low price has those enclosed Kluson tuners. I will also post this at the ebay discussion thread:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-man...emCondition=10
    That's an odd duck, IMO. All laminate body. Likely refinished. Was it a solid color to cover the sanding through of the laminate? But older tuners. Or at least older covers. And a bridge from something else entirely.

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  14. #38

    Default Re: Bought a Stradolin. Serial Number?

    Yes, that bridge is from a Kay. It begs the question: would the original bridge fill the gap without the wooden plinth? If it does, it may be that the top is not too bad but it is often hard to tell without a good shot from the side.

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