JMG Jack Maskell Guitars Archtop Soprano Ukulele Corner
My JMG (replacement bridge)
JMG Jack Maskell Guitars Archtop Soprano
JMG Soprano
JMG Jack Maskell Guitars Archtop Soprano Ukulele Corner

These were made in Perth, Western Australia in the 1940's and 50's. I'm told that JMG stood for Jack Maskiell Guitars and that Jack may have made Violins and Guitars in Adelaide before WWII, but after the war and having been posted to the Pacific he ended up in Perth. Here he started up again, mainly with Guitars but adding Ukuleles to his range too, and employed (possibly through some government post war therapy program), ex service-men and P.O.W.s to help build instruments. The Ukuleles are Soprano scale and have an overlapping arched back and front with little or no kerfing, a bolt on neck, plus a floating bridge and tailpiece so not using the the standard construction methods. The firm continued trading up until 1959, but I can only guess that foreign competition was the cause of the demise? The patent pending on the sound hole label was for a special second sound chamber that was suppose to amplify the sound (it didn't and these have usually been removed in the surviving examples, but maybe explains why they were built the way they were?) There is also a serial number stamped on the top of the headstock

P.O.W. Whittling Starts WA Ukulele Industry.
Boredom-killing whittling in Changi prisoner of war camp has started up an industry in Western Australia that might become a dollar-earner. Partner in JMG Industries at Jolimont Les O’Connell, filled in his spare time at Changi using a knife on coconut shells and pieces of tea chests to make a ukulele. Heartened by his success he made a carved top ukulele which musicians in the camp hailed as a topline instrument. O’Connell decided to go into the business on his liberation. This story was told today by his partner Jack Maskiell who was with O’Connell in Changi. He said that it took six months to produce the first local ukulele. From then on the ukuleles were marketed throughout Australia with great success. ‘We got a bit cheeky,’ said Maskiell. ‘We sent them to Singapore and Ceylon and now dollar-earning samples are in the U.S.. ‘We also have them in Britain.’ The firm has now produced 3000 ukuleles and 700 guitars…… Maskiell lost a leg in Changi.
(The Daily News, Perth, 16 May 1950, pg. 9)

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