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GALLERY - HISTORY

HISTORY -::- SILVERTONES GALLERY

Silvertone -Harmony-made - 1480 solid body electric guitar with two red pickups and red knobs, whammy bar December 1967 Welcome to the gallery of Silvertone guitars from the VintageSilvertones.com collection! The instruments are listed in chronological order from left (oldest) to right (more recent). The gallery will continue to grow as we get more Silvertones. The purpose of this gallery is to help identify all the Vintage Silvertone guitars from the 1950's through the early 1970's. We're major fan of Silvertones and have discovered that there's a lot of misinformation out there.

Let's state first that we're only interested in and writing about electric guitars manufactured from the 1950's through the very early 1970's. We consider this period to be the most significant in the history of vintage electric guitar collecting for these low-end beauties.

Silvertones were guitars sold by Sears but manufactured by five main companies: Danelectro, Harmony, National-Dobro (Supro/Valco), Kay, and Teisco. These companies were called "jobbers" because they were contracted (jobbed out) to make guitars for Sears. They also produced guitars under their own brand names. In almost all cases the guitars manufactured for Sears were identical to models sold directly by the manufacturers with only a logo or color change.

Silvertone 1451-Danelectro-made 1 pickup, electric guitar amp in case, 1966, black The early Silvertone electric guitars were made by Harmony and Danelectro, with a few exceptions. Danelectro had been making amplifiers since the 1940's for Sears, Epiphone and it's own brand. Their manufacturing facility was in Neptune New Jersey. The Dano's started mainly with the infamous "U" series which had the Lipstick pickups and "Coke-bottle" headstocks. Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and many other rock stars got started and continue to play the Dano's. Aside from the very first Danelectros for Sears they all had the Lipstick pickups. That's how you can tell a Dano from the other manufacturers. Danelectro also manufactured the infamous "amp-in-case" models of which I have two examples: a 1964 and a 1968. If you want more info on Dano's go here.

The other US-based manufacturers were from Chicago Harmony (formerly owned by Sears), National-Dobro (Supro/Valco) and Kay. Chicago was the largest guitar manufacturing area of the US at the time. The only other manufacturer of Silvertones during this period was the Japanese-based company, Teisco (or Teisco Del Ray as it was formerly called). Teisco created some of the wildest designs for Silvertones, in our opinion. The earliest model was the TG1. This was the first guitar to incorporate an amplifier and speaker into the body of the guitar. Although some people look down on the Japanese guitars we think they've got some really interesting sounds and innovations not found on American made guitars.

Silvertone 1420L - Harmony Stratotone - 2 pickup, black hollow body electric guitar made in Chicago IL USA circa 1961 One other thing to note is during the 1960's there was a lot of consolidation in the Chicago guitar manufacturers. In the 1940's National and Dobro merged to form Valco. One of Valco's sub-brand's was Supro which sold guitars under the Sears moniker Silvertone but they also manufactured guitars for Montgomery Wards as the "Airline" brand (Jack White of the White Stripes plays an Airline "Layfayette" reso-glas guitar) and there were a few other house brands too. In 1968 the conglomerate Valco closed it's doors. Also in 1968 Danelectro was shut down by MCA which had purchased it in 1966. Kay also went out of business and the remains were bought by Teisco. The only major brand that survived the 1960's to continue making these amazing guitars through the early 1970's was Harmony. We believe that's because they were the largest of all guitar manufacturers in the 1960's.

One final thought, although we're selling guitars here this is clearly a labor of love. If VintageSilvertones.com works out and can sustain itself we will be expanding the site. If you're not into buying a guitar now you can pick up a cool T-Shirt with a Rockin' Silvertone Guitar on it!. We will be adding new designs shortly to the t-shirt offerings. So stay tuned for more information or not!
Rock ON!
- cb cooke

HISTORY -::- SILVERTONES GALLERY

Danelectros
Silvertone 1359 made by Danelectro U2, two pickup, electric guitar, semi-hollow body, ginger tolex covered body with brown tolex binding, masonite body, lipstick pickup, made in 1956 Silvertone-Danelectro U1/1317 - single pickup black electric guitar 1957 Silvertone Danelectro 1950's black Coke Bottle headstock Silvertone Danelectro U3 - model 1305 Silvertone 1303 made by Danelectro U2, two pickup, electric guitar, semi-hollow body, black, masonite body, lipstick pickup, made in 1958 Silvertone made by Danelectro U2, two pickup, electric guitar, semi-hollow body, copper, masonite body, lipstick pickup, made in 1959, serial number 559 Silvertone Danelectro 1959 brown U1 Silvertone-Danelectro-model 1419L-U1 black dolphin Silvertone Danelectro 1961 Copper Dolphin headstock
Silvertone Danelectro 1448 - amp in case Silvertone Danelectro-1449 - amp in case-nocase Silvertone 1457-Danelectro-made 2 pickup, electric guitar amp in case, 1964, red burst Silvertone 1451-Danelectro-made 1 pickup, electric guitar amp in case, 1966, black Silvertone - Danelectro-made - 1452 solid body electric guitar, tortoise shell pickguard, no whammy bar circa 1967, player's condition - replaced pots Silvertone Danelectro-Coral 1968 - amp in case
Basses=> Silvertone Bass made by Danelectro model 1444 - U1 style - single pickup electric bass guitar Silvertone 1443 electric bass guitar made by Danelectro of Neptune New Jersey, two pickup, solid body, black, masonite body, 2 lipstick pickups, circa 1967 Silvertone Danelectro electric Bass guitar model #1442L-1pickup 1967
Harmony's
Silvertone-Harmony - model H41-Newport Sunshine Yellow solid body electric guitar Silvertone-Harmony - model H42-Newport Metallic Green solid body electric guitar Silvertone-Harmony #1476L Silhouette - 2 pickup solidbody electric guitar 1964 Silvertone-Harmony #1477L Silhouette - 2 pickup solidbody electric guitar 1964-shaded walnut finish Silvertone 1478L Jaguar - Harmony Silvertone -Harmony-made - 1478 solid body electric guitar with whammy bar circa 1965 Silvertone -Harmony-made - 1480 solid body electric guitar with two red pickups and red knobs, whammy bar December 1967 Silvertone 14788- Harmony-made solid body, 2 pickup, blue electric guitar in sunburst with blue prickups made cirac 1967, made in Chicago IL USA Silvertone - Harmony-made solid body, 3 pickup electric guitar in red, made in Chicago IL USA
Silvertone-Harmony #1429L - 3 pickup tobaccoburst finish hollow body electric guitar 1959 Silvertone H62 - Harmony archtop Espanda Silvertone Jupiter - Harmony Stratotone Silvertone 1420L - Harmony Stratotone - 2 pickup, black hollow body electric guitar made in Chicago IL USA circa 1961 Silvertone-Harmony 1454 electric guitar 3 pickups, Bigsby tail piece chicago 1965 Silvertone Harmony - 1446L semi hollow body Silvertone Harmony H78 - hollow body
Teisco's
Silvertone TG1-Teisco with speaker built in Silvertone 1435 solid body electric guitar, 2 pickups, whammy bar, made in Japan 1965 Silvertone Teisco - 1437 - solid body electric guitar Silvertone-Teisco model #WG-2L, solid body, electric guitar with 2 pickups-brown burst Silvertone EZ4540 - Teisco Four pick up Silvertone-Teisco model #ET-460/K4L, solid body, electric guitar with 4 pickups Bass=> Silvertone 1490 bass - solid body, 2pickups, sunburst, made in Japan by Teisco for Silvertone-Sears in 1969
Silvertone Teisco - ES335 Gibson style Silvertone 1460 Teisco-made 2pu, red, hollow body electric guitar Silvertone-Teisco 1445L Mosrite solid body 3 pickup electric guitar Silvertone Teisco - Frankenstein - student stratocaster
Kay
Silvertone-Kay-model 1382L-with case-Jimmy Reed Thin Twin, 2 pickup, electric guitar Silvertone-Kay-model 1369L-Jimmy Reed Thin Twin, 2 pickup, electric guitar made in Chicago IL, USA 1957-1958 Silvertone - Kay 1452 hollow body 2pu electric guitar Kay - Silvertone - Speed Demon model K573 Silvertone Kay - solidbody Silvertone 1416, solid body, electric guitar with 1 pickup, walnut sunburst made by Kay of Chicago, IL 1965 Silvertone - Kay model 1411 electric guitar
National/Supro/Valco
Silvertone Supro - 1950's - National-Valco Silvertone Artist electric guitar with one single coil pickup in black with all gold hardware and original case made by Supro in 1958  Chicago IL Silvertone lap steel model 1312 with original case - 1 pickup black/brown finish, gold hardware circa 1961

HISTORY -::- SILVERTONES GALLERY



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