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Thread: montgomery ward 1930 s

  1. #1

    Default montgomery ward 1930 s

    my buddy has a mw thirties a style i want to buy. It is really clean with no cracks or repairs. All original including firestripe pickguard. Question 1,,shows no sign of a truss rod did they put some kind of rod or stiffining device in the neck,,,,,the action is FINE and plays nice,,,, This is an a stlyle with f holes,,,maple back and sides.,,,,nice sunburst with some craze,,,,,Question 2,,,,,hes asking.$ 450. is this an ok price? ,,,,,,It looks a lot like yhe Gibson a models from that era except it is a little thicker.from front to back,,,,,,THANKS.for any advice ,,,,,,Randy. rcoolz

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Without a pic it's shooting in the dark. Gibson did build for Montgomery Ward catalog sales; I believe the instruments were labeled "Ward," but I'm relying on faulty memory there. Others on the Cafe will know better than I.

    Many mandolins of that period had no truss rods. Some had what Harmony used to label "steel reinforced neck," which was a bar installed in a channel under the fingerboard. There are gazillions of pre-1920 Gibsons that have done fine over the past near-century without truss rods or neck reinforcement, but the rod does become more necessary if you have an extended, less "beefy" neck.

    So: post pictures if you can. Catalog retailers bought instruments from a variety of manufacturers, from the lower-end builders to some of the better firms. They had proprietary labels put on them for their exclusive use, like "Silvertone" and "Airline." Those with some expertise can ID the builders by looking at the instruments.
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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Randy and Allen, this puts me in the mind that I should ask Santa for Paul Fox's book on the "Other Brands of Gibson"

    The Amazon view lets you look into Paul's tally of brand names and while their are many for MWs the "Ward" brand doesn't show up. I only have a "Ward" and "Recording King" KM11 style mandolin in my files. I love to see others.

    Not to presume at all the Randy's pal has a Gibson-made instrument. Lots of look-sort of-alike out there from this period.

    Mick
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars mentions "Ward" as a label Gibson made for Montgomery Ward catalog sales. I have never seen one, however.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
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    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  5. #5
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Thanks for the plug of my book. Gibson did build mandolins for Montgomery Ward's catalog. Sounds like you are describing a Model #1642 which was an A-style mando with f-holes, maple Back & sides. Some were not labeled at all (no peghead logo) some were labeled Wards. None of the Gibson-made mandos for Wards had truss rods or any neck reinforcement. $450 sounds like a very reasonable price if it's a Gibson, assuming it's in decent shape. Regal and Kay also built mandos for Wards too. Here's the pix from the catalog of the #1642:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Post a picture. Although Gibson did build instruments for Montgomery Ward under the Wards and Recording King brand names, so did other builders. It's a decent price if it is a Gibson second line instrument, it's not a good price if it was built by any of the other builders. It will look pretty much like a Kalamazoo KM-21, another Gibson second line from the period.

    It will look similar to this. Note the brace across the back, that will most likely be there as these were pressed tops and backs, not carved.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Hey everyone,,Thanks for the quick replies First off my friend is a builder and a collector. I play a custom F5 that he built in 94, He really knows his instruments,,,This mando is not a pressed top.It IS a carved top.,IT has a silver grey Round seal visible thru the F hole,,,unfortunately it isnt legible,,,Headstock has no logo or name,,,, I do believe with my buddys knowledge that this is a M ward,,, has the same peg head shape as the Gibsons of that era ..It has the original tuners that still work great ,,,My real concern was the truss rod ,,,,I wanted a 2nd mando to put into alternate tunings and for the price I thought I could get something that was vintage and nice shape ,,,,,easy playing and no cracks,,,,I was going too get a new eastman 305 till my buddy offered this one ,,,,, _Hey THANKS for your advice and Knowledge,,,,,,Randy.aka rcoolz

  8. #8

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Pfox 14.That pic from the catalog looks like the same mandolin my buddy has,,,,,so you said that the Gibson built catalog mandos did not have a truss rod?,,,,,, well I guess if it hasnt moved in 70 plus yrs its built ok,,,,,, Thanks Randy.aka rcoolz

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Randy, a carved top Gibson-made Wards-branded mandolin would indeed be something unique to see. (Very unique ) What say you you try and get some photos of the mandolin that you might be able to be posted here. A lot of folks would be interested.

    Mick
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Hi Mick I dont have a computer. I post from my phone,,,,,To post a pic I have to go to full cafe site,,,My phone will not support the full site only,cafe mobile.so I cant post a pic but thanks for your help ,,,,,Randy

  11. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    So it isn't marked Wards? Gibson built "second lines" like Wards and Kalamazoo's did not have truss rods.

  12. #12
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    I don't think that the lack of a truss rod should be a big concern. As stated - all of the Gibson-made off-brand mandolins from this era did not have truss rods and there are plenty of playable ones around to prove it NOT absolutely necessary to have a TR. What Gibson considered to be a "second line" or contract built instrument in the 30s, most of us would consider to be a great instrument now. But, the proof is in the playing. I would also love to see some pix of the mando if you can manage it. Remember you can upload pix directly from your computer & post them, so maybe you can transfer pix from your phone to your computer as a way of solving the problem with the app.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    yes, you are correct,,,,It isnt marked wards,,,,,,no logo or markings on headstock. there is a round silver grey sticker visible thru the F hole but is so faded cant make out what it says,,,,no serial number anywhere the frets are still Good,,,the mando is a nice sunburst front and back ,,,maple b/S. ,,,the neck has a prounced V shape Tuners seem period correct and buttons are a yellow color and not cracked or crumbling,,,,,seems like a Nice condition old mando,,, pretty loud,,,,my concern was the truss rod and whether it was a gibson made mando,,,, I thought if any one had a wards made by Gibson,,, they could help verify,,,,,maybe theirs would have the same round silver grey sticker inside,,,,, But whatever Hey Thanks everyone for all the info. Randy. aka rcoolz,,,,,,,problem is I dont have a computer.to upload pics would like to share pics Thanks. Randy
    Last edited by culler; Nov-19-2012 at 8:59am. Reason: added thought

  14. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Does the sticker look like this one? This is a circa 1935 Ward MW11 mandolin.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Quote Originally Posted by culler View Post
    ..problem is I dont have a computer.to upload pics would like to share pics Thanks. Randy
    Randy, can you check your Private Messages here at the MC? I'll send you an email address and maybe you can forward me some photos there and I'll post them up here.

    You have me intrigued to find out just what this is. A carved-top Wards would be a curious thing to see.

    Mick
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Jim. and mick,,,,, My phone will not open your pic,of sticker,,,,,,mick.I cant find my inbox _if you send the pic to my email.it will open.secondly jim send me your e mail address and I will get some pics and send to you. I can send and receive pics via text or email,,,,,,I have bought and sold on cafe using the phone.Thanks.Randy. E mail.rcoolz@msn.com ,,,,,,,text 330 303 3648

  17. #17
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Here is a Gibson-made M Wards Model 807 Recording King mando. The 807s which came before the 1642 were marked as RK, but I believe the 1642's were not marked at all or marked as "Wards" brand.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    PS The Model 1642 mandos did have a carved top
    Last edited by pfox14; Nov-19-2012 at 3:54pm.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    If it's a Recording King I'm real surprised it's not marked as such. Pictures would really help.

  19. #19
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Quote Originally Posted by pfox14 View Post
    .....

    PS The Model 1642 mandos did have a carved top
    Now I REALLY want to see this mandolin.

    Paul, where did the 1642s fall on the timeline relative to the development of the KM21s? I guess I (wrongly) assumed that's what they were, as the MW11s were to the KM11s. What were the carved top/f hole A body mandolins that Gibson was making at this time that would have been repurposed for Wards?

    You or Mike would know, were the Orioles carved or pressed?

    thanks!

    Mick
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  20. #20

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Now I REALLY want to see this mandolin.

    Paul, where did the 1642s fall on the timeline relative to the development of the KM21s? I guess I (wrongly) assumed that's what they were, as the MW11s were to the KM11s. What were the carved top/f hole A body mandolins that Gibson was making at this time that would have been repurposed for Wards?

    You or Mike would know, were the Orioles carved or pressed?

    thanks!

    Mick
    Mike. The mandolin looks exactly like the thumbnail. Pic. Except it has no name or. Logo on headstock. Also. There is. No brace on the back. The top of the headstock is the exact same profile. The pickguard is exactly the same. This looks like the one I'm looking to get exceptforthe mentioned differences. I will try to post some lice ina day or two. Zool
    Last edited by culler; Nov-20-2012 at 7:44am. Reason: typo

  21. #21
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Here's the deal on Ward's mandos. Most don't have any peghead logos. It's possible that a few of the F/W 1935/36 1610s (KM-11) and 1607s (KM-21) had "WARD" stencilled on the peghead in white Deco letters, but that would be it. The 1642s appeared a year later in F/W 1936/37 and have blank PHs. Unlike the earlier 1607, which, like its Kalamazoo counterpart was Arco-Arch and mahogany b&s, the 1642 had a carved top and curly maple b&s. It's doubtless the same instrument as the mysterious Cromwell GM-5, and would look like a Cromwell/Capital electric mando minus the pickup. I've seen them, but don't have a photo of one. They lasted through the S/S 1937 catalog, then disappeared from the F/W 1937/38; all the mandos in it are Kay or Regal. There wasn't another Gibson mando until S/S 1940, when the blonde 969 appeared, also with a blank peghead.

    The Model 969 Gibson-made mando from 1940:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #22

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Soooo until I post some pica any ideas what it is. We should make this a contest. Hey thanks. You guys are good. Randy. Aka rcoolz

  23. #23
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Quote Originally Posted by culler View Post
    Soooo until I post some pica any ideas what it is. We should make this a contest. Hey thanks. You guys are good. Randy. Aka rcoolz
    No need for a contest, Randy. A lot of information (and effort) has been provided. No point in speculating any further. Try (harder) to get some pictures up: borrow a friend's computer, go to the public library, local college, coffee shop....

    Thanks, Paul, for that summary. That is a very interesting niche in the Gibson production line. Attached is an image of a Gibson/Capital EM. Were they using this body type for other mandolins at the time?

    Mick
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  24. #24

    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Just making a joke about a contest!,,,,,,,I do APPRECIATE all the help and EFFORT thats been given,,,,,,,Randy

  25. #25
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: montgomery ward 1930 s

    Until there is a picture or brand you can't even be sure it was a Gibson second line mandolin, built for Wards or anyone else. It is simply speculation without any labels. Honestly, if you want to e-mail the pictures to somebody so they can post them you'll find out what you really are looking at.

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