Dating sears guitars
Some manufacturers merged or changed hands over the years which added to the confusion, sometime merging with another maker, only to pick up their name later. Listed below are the major manufacturers, known badges and suspected badges to the best of my knowledge in written and list form to make it easy to find out !In some cases a manufacturer would farm out production to various manufacturers, making it still more difficult to know who made the guitar in your hands. In some cases I won't know because the badge you have may be extremely rare and virtually unknown to even seasoned collectors.Parts from other guitars would be used in the making of a particular badge for a period of time because it was all the manufacturer had to hand...which doesn't always help in identifying a maker. This page is a work in progress and as new information is revealed it will be added to the list. And just a quick note: I do not buy or sell guitars.And sometimes, the guitar which is supposed to be an MIJ guitar is actually made elsewhere (Korea, Indonesia) because production was moved during this period in history. I have no idea what any given guitar from this period would sell for.
My sole purpose is to help people looking specifically for information on the maker of their MIJ guitar.
People often make the mistake of citing the American or European importer as the 'maker' of the guitar, when in fact several Japanese manufacturers were producing badged guitars out of their plants and shipping them to America and Europe to sell.
Japanese manufacturers made multiple badges at the same plant, many of whom resemble each other closely.
By and large, most Sears fretted products were made by Harmony before '39, with "gaps" filled by other makes where Harmony didn't offer something appropriate. Last summer I did a rehab job for a friend on her ST(what looks like a 12L 310-1/4.) I know she'll enjoy seeing this ad. (Hence the label acquisition by --independent--Harmony....) You are a sharper eye than I, but I do keep an eye out for '20s era Sovereign mandos--real sleepers in my opinion.
Very interesting to see bowlbacks, canted tops and production f-holes on the same page. Hard to imagine the bowlbacks being made by Harmony though. When was it acquired, or was it set up by Sears to begin with? Schmidt could use the same historical research that we have seen for L H and Regal.