A new, old Harmony uke

Here are a few photos of my new, old Harmony uke. It is what Harmony called a tenor uke, model 685.

According to one who knows, the Harmony transfer on the headstock indicates a uke from the early 1950s.

It is of solid mahogany construction, has a 15 inch scale, and a wafer thin rosewood veneer on the fretboard. It should have four position markers, but one has dropped off mine.  The binding is white celluloid.

Some sound samples follow:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBklTaZh0k&hl=en_US&fs=1&%5D

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Ukulele Standard of 1927

The following is reproduced from The Music Trade Review 85, 16 (October 1927) p. 27. It gives the standard dimensions for soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles — to help people tell the difference between ukuleles that are toys and those that are musical instruments. Enjoy…

1. Scale length (Distance from nut to bridge):

a. Standard Size Ukulele ………………. 13 to 13 3/4 inches

b. Concert Size Ukulele ……………….. 13 3/4 to 14 1/2 inches

c. Tenor Size Ukulele ………………….. 14 1/2 to 15 3/4 inches

2. Must not have less than twelve (12) frets.

3. Back must be curved or arched.

4. Body must not be less than 2 inches deep at the lower bout.

5. Top of sound board must be of one-twelfth (1/12) inches veneer, approximately.

6. Frame or sides must be lined.

7. Sound-hole must be trimmed with celluloid or inlaid purfling.

8. Ribs must be sanded or finished off smooth.

9. Frets, after correct regulation, must be slightly rounded, to enable the player to execute the glissando without cutting fingers or strings.

10. Height of strings:

a. Above top edge of first fret must be not less than one-thirty-second (1/32) inch nor more than three-sixty-fourths (3/64) inch.

b. Above top edge of twelfth fret must be not less than one-eighth (1/8) inch nor more than five-thirty-seconds (5/32) inch.

Passage reproduced courtesy of The International Arcade Museum and the Musical Box Society International.

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 9:36 am  Comments (1)  
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