1950's Fin-Der Diamond Head Plastic Acoustic Soprano at Ukulele Corner
Diamond Head
1950s royal hawaiian plastic soprano at ukulele corner
Royal Hawaiian
1950's Fin-Der Mauna Loa Plastic Acoustic Soprano with original multi coloured strings at Ukulele Corner
White Mauna Loa
George A. Finder and Nino Marcelli set up a Plastic Ukulele manufacturing company in San Diego in 1950. The most famous branded product was the Diamond Head. Finder owned the patents for the design, even if production is credited to a plastic factory, and it was used on a lot of other brands of Ukulele over the next decade
The ones I have seen were predominantly white fronted with a coloured, often faux wood sort of marbled brown, back and sides. Some were entirely faux wood and some particularly the Royal Hawaiians had a painted black fretboard. There were only ever Sopranos made and it should be remembered that this was the first plastic Ukulele, production was started before Maccaferri and Finder got his patent 3 months before Maccaferri (these facts were a large part of Chris Kratt/Emenees defence in the patent court cases with Maccaferri)

Other Fin-Der (hyphen to differentiate from Fender) designed Ukuleles I have seen are are

  • Aloha - the plastic ones only
  • Cliff Edwards - endorsed by Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, (the voice of Jiminy Cricket), to compete with Arthur Godfrey endorsed Emenees
  • G. P. Co. Maui
  • Kona Isle
  • the Lisa
  • Mauna Loa - the plastic ones only
  • Nashville Superstars
  • Reliable - a Canadian firm who didn't copy the Patent Tuning Pegs and used plastic friction ones They also did a number of Ukuleles for Disney so there are a number of Disney Character models
  • Royal Hawaiian - the plastic ones only - endorsed by Harry Owens the musical director of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and leader of its house band the Royal Hawaiians, a top Hawaiian music act of the time - Paul Summers was also in the band for a while
  • Surf Rider
  • Teasers Hula Uke

  • Distinctive on a Fin-Der Ukulele are the circular headstock logo, (might say something different but its always circular and in the same place), the tuning pegs, the bridge and the moulding where the fret board meets the body; also no zero fret, (zero fret means Maccaferri). Another thing is about the manufacturing, but you don't see this without taking them apart, the Finder models are a two part process whereas the Emenee has four and Maccaferri's are an eight part process.

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