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Thread: Photo Tour of a Harmony Instrument Factory, 1904

  1. #1
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    Photo Tour of a Harmony Instrument Factory, 1904

    Saw this article and thought some of you might enjoy seeing some of the machinery they were using to build guitars and mandolins back in the early 1900s.

    https://reverb.com/news/take-a-photo...relatedarticle

    Check out the huge drum sanders they're using in the 9th photo down.
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  2. #2
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    Crazy to think how many hand made instruments they were turning out daily.
    Darren

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the link Vaughn. GREAT story.
    Real interesting look back at past manufacturing.

    Just in time was not something known in thar Era. Lol look at all the work in progress. Wonder what total employee count was and earnings per employee.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Seriously cool!!

    "We were still doing everything by hand, even on the starter guitars. Guitars that were selling for $19 were being made entirely by hand."
    I could use one of those giant drum sanders once in a while!
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  5. #5
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    Interesting tour... I think I owned one of their guitars when I was a teenager... never did learn to play it. I'm one of the most un-musical persons you'll ever meet... I'm not sure I can even play a radio well.... My uncle gave me the guitar when I was about 10 or 12, he had it for a number of years and don't think he ever learned to play it either.... after I got out of the navy I was packing to move back to California and ran across it... I gave it back to my uncle to give to my cousin... he was a music major... haven't seen him in 20++ years, so don't know if he played it or not.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
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  6. #6
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    A lesson in keeping up with technology. Adapt or perish.

  7. #7
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    Very cool. I can't help but look at the duct work in the sanding area and wonder how they powered the dust collectors.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Very cool. I can't help but look at the duct work in the sanding area and wonder how they powered the dust collectors.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Ellis View Post
    Interesting tour... I think I owned one of their guitars when I was a teenager...
    My first decent electric guitar was a red sunburst Harmony Rocket that my folks bought me in about 5th grade. When we went shopping for it, the choice was narrowed down to either that or a Gretch Chet Atkins signature model. They just couldn't quite afford the extra hundred bucks or so the Gretch cost. (Nowadays both guitars would be collectables, but the Gretch would fetch a lot more money than the Harmony.) I played the living dickens out of that Harmony, though. Pretty much wore it out. I played it until about my sophomore year in high school, when I bought myself a better guitar.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  10. #10
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    I like seeing old places like this. Fantastic. Thanks for the link to it. The machinery back then was quite different in ways but still the same in others.

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