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Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar

Metchosin 13 Nov 99 - 04:56 PM
Mudjack 14 Nov 99 - 04:56 PM
Metchosin 14 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Nov 99 - 10:35 PM
Metchosin 14 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM
Mudjack 15 Nov 99 - 12:31 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 15 Nov 99 - 04:53 AM
Metchosin 15 Nov 99 - 06:02 PM
Songster Bob 16 Nov 99 - 04:41 PM
Songster Bob 17 Nov 99 - 12:21 PM
Metchosin 18 Nov 99 - 11:07 AM
Metchosin 18 Nov 99 - 12:22 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 19 Nov 99 - 05:06 AM
Roger the skiffler 19 Nov 99 - 09:23 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 12 - 11:17 PM
Ebbie 16 Jun 12 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Christopher 15 May 16 - 09:55 PM
leeneia 16 May 16 - 10:14 AM
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Subject: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 04:56 PM

I initially couldn't decide if this should be on a BS or Help thread but after due consideration, I chose the latter. It doesn't pertain to music and lyrics, it does pertain to a beloved instrument upon which music is played. If anyone disagrees with my choice, forgive me. My husband has a parlor guitar, made by J. Berwind of Philadelphia, that his mother found for him in a pawn shop, in 1952. It is similar, if not identical, to an 1881 Martin 1-21 and of equally of superb tone and craftmanship. A friend of my brother has a Berwind as well. We have gone the usual route of guitar collectors, including George Gruhn and antique dealers to find information about J. Berwind, to no avail. If anyone who has any information on J. Berwind guitars, we would love to know the history.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Mudjack
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 04:56 PM

Hello Metchosin, It sounds like a fine old instument just dating it. You need to see it's origins, label insde and see where it was built. New York, Chicago, etc. The name itself could be made by a larger company and labeled Berwind Parlor Guitar. Many names have appeared and some have been buit either by Martin, Washburn or other large guitar builders. Since it is a parlor guitar, you may have to go on quality of workmanship and materials of the guitar and make some educated guesses.It is a name I have never crossed paths with but I can only express I'm not an expert, merely someone who has seen a great many instruments.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM

The guitar is stamped inside, J. Berwind, Phila. so we assume it was made in Philadelphia. As Martin was in Philadelphia for about eleven years after the fire in Nazareth and prior to moving back to Nazareth around 1918 or 1919, we wondered if it was made by an employee of Martin, as it is indistinghable from the 1-21.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:35 PM

Ahh good guess! Keep in mind that there was also a lot of "moonlighting" by company employees. I'm familiar with most names, but at least once a year, a new one comes up.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM

It seems weird that there are two here in the same town on the west coast of Canada, so we just assumed that whoever J. Berwind was he must have been reasonably prolific.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Mudjack
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:31 AM

Ah... that was the educated guess I spoke of. It sounds like you have put the guitar in it's most likely history and is most apt to be a Martin builder or moonlighter. I have to think that in those days, guitars were still built by a luthier from start to finish, unlike todays modern assembly line methods.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 04:53 AM

You might try the newsgroup

rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic

There are a lot of collectors hanging around there. If you are not equiped to, or don't know how to use newsgroups, send me an email and I will post it on your behalf.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 06:02 PM

Thanks, will do.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Songster Bob
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 04:41 PM

Martin may have made it -- not as a "moonlight guitar," but as a "trade guitar." The Martin factory did, in its history, make some instruments for other companies, much like Kay, Harmony, and even Gibson did. I'll try to check my American Guitars book to see what I can find out, but it seems to me that it could be just that kind of instrument. Many of the "moonlight" Martins have no label, and one labeled with a firm's name, as this sounds like, is more likely a trade instrument, in my opinion.

Now, if Gruhn and the others who have been queried found nothing, I'm not likely to find "Berwind" in my book, but I can find reference to making trade instruments, which is what I meant.
Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Songster Bob
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 12:21 PM

Confirmation. Martin did indeed make trade guitars for stores, teachers, and other companies. Many of the better ukuleles sold by other companies were Martins, for example. (My Weymann may be one such, I don't know). However, my source didn't mention Berwind as one of the better-known trade names martin made.

BTW, what's this about a Martin fire and moving production? According to "American Guitars," the 1858 factory, at least, is still part of the Martin complex, and no mention is made about any other location for production, or a fire, or any such event.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:07 AM

Hi Songster Bob, thought I'd better check my sources here and spoke to my husband, as it is his guitar and he was the one that passed the information on to me regarding the Martin factory fire in Nazareth and the move, for a time, to Philadephia. He said he read about it years ago but does not remember the publication. He doesn't think he dreamed it up and the eleven years sticks in his mind, which it is an odd fact to retain. Although his memory isn't infalible, he is usually pretty reliable when it comes to recalling facts and information, particularly in fields that are his passion ie. guitars and audio reproduction. It would be interesting to see if anyone else can find reference to the temporary Martin relocation in other publications. As he is computer phobic and more inept than I at keyboarding, I have on two occasions taken dictation for him to post in the forum. Any posting that I send, that ends with "end of rant" has been his words verbatum.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Metchosin
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 12:22 PM

Songster Bob, Jim just checked personally with the Martin Factory, talked to Lon in the Artists division and apparently the article he read, was in no way accurate. Martin was established in Nazareth in 1833 as you no doubt already know and the only change of location was the move to the new building in 1964. Thanks for helping dispel one more false story about Martin.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 05:06 AM

Actually, I thought Martin originally established in New York and then moved to Nazareth where they stayed (except perhaps for that fire)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:23 AM

According tho their insurance company the fire is next week.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 11:17 PM

Are you still interested in knowing about the history of Berwind guitars? I worked for the Berwind Corporation of Philadelphia, PA for over 38 years and I'm certain I can help you. You can email me at ronelliott@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 11:50 PM

Sadly, Metch is no longer with us, nor is Rick Fielding. Perhaps someone else - Songster Bob or Mudjack? - will see this.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: GUEST,Christopher
Date: 15 May 16 - 09:55 PM

I realize this is an older post, but I was wondering if anyone ever followed up on history of the J. Berwind parlor guitar. I ask because I have the same model guitar and it is indeed a dead ringer for a Martin 1-26 down to the last detail. It was originally my great grandfather's guitar and he passed it on to my grandad. My grandmother fell for him when she met him at a dance where Grandad was playing it in a ragtime band in the early 1920's. He gave it to me when I was a kid in the late 1950's when my hands got big enough to play. Its a sweet little guitar and I've played it ever since. Grandad wrote inside the wooden coffin case "fine rosewood guitar, father bought in 1871 from professor Schubert at Miss Bayard's music school Phila. for $75.00" Seventyfive bucks was a lot of money for a guitar back then, so it could be he was fuzzy on remembering the price. It was my understanding that J.Berwind was a luthier who made guitars in Philadelphia in the mid to late 1800's, but I've never been able to verify that. In fact this forum is the only place I've come accross any mention of J.Berwind the luthier. I'd be curious to know if anyone else has knowledge about the origins of this guitar.


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Subject: RE: Help: Berwind Parlor Guitar
From: leeneia
Date: 16 May 16 - 10:14 AM

Christopher, look two posts above for the post from a Berwind employee.


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