Prisoner of War Starts Ukulele Business — JMG Industries

The Daily News (Perth) on 16 May 1950 reported how Les O’Connell and Jack Maskiell, both former POWs in Changi Prison, began making a ukulele in Changi to past the time. They used a knife, coconut shells and bits of old tea chests to make their first ukulele. Upon returning to Western Australia, they took six months to build their first uke for sale. Their ukes sold well in Australia and South-East Asia, and by 1950 had sold 3000 ukuleles and 700 guitars.

And here they are:

JMG Industries

The craftsman at left is John Hetherington, at right is Jack Maskiell.

Advertisements
Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://reyalpeleluku.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/prisoner-of-war-starts-ukulele-business-jmg-industries/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I recently bought a J. M.G. ..Guitar in a case, the guitar is a Aristocrat Model # 1217 according to the hand written label inside (and has a signed handwritten set of initials ), the case has a label that says Westralian Leather Goods Pty Ltd Perth W.A., Can you tell me anything more about this guitar and It is made out of a sort of plywood and has a scratchplate/pickguard and case?

    • Hi Ward,

      Thanks for dropping by. I know very little about these instruments, apart from what I read in the old newspaper. Are you happy with the guitar as a musical instrument? I’ve seen one of the ukuleles that these guys had made. Looked and sounded pretty good.

      All the best,
      Michael


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: