Hawaiian Makers from the early days to WWII click for more

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Kohala Soprano Hawaiian Ukulele
photo by Sarah Jones
In researching the early period of Ukulele manufacture in Hawaii from 1890 to the Second World War, I come across a lot of referenced to small or short lived manufacturers some of whom were one man luthier shops, some tried to be big business but now there is not much to show from them beyond footnotes in someone else's biography or perhaps that dusty old Ukulele you find in the attic? If you look at the Ukulele Hall of Fame reference section you will see a number of Hawaiian Ukuleles from this period whose maker is "Unknown" perhaps they are examples for some of the people I have found reference to here?
(I should also note that some of these may actually be the brand names of Mainland makers who were pretending to be Hawaiian. After all this practice is what lead to the need for the Tabu mark, and if it was difficult to find out where the actual Ukulele was made then, it usually hasn't got any easier!)

George Mossman

George Paele Mossman got into the Ukulele business with Clarence Kinney, (a Ukulele music composer), in 1914 and for a while they, (Kinney & Mossman), were probably the biggest manufacturers in Hawaii, but by 1918 they had split up. Mossman continued making Ukuleles on his own from this point, however by 1933 he had suspended the manufacture of Ukuleles in favour of other projects and production was never to restart. His most famous brand was the Bell Tone, (reg. 1927), which he claimed "could be heard from half a mile away and yet still retain its clarity and tonal sweetness". In addition to this brand, many were supplied to distributors where they were often re-branded with the distributors name or own brand


I have seen it suggested this is not a Hawaiian firm, but a Regal brand pretending to be Hawaiian, the evidence being the Regal like multi-coloured bindings on some models? I have also seen it said the Ukuleles are unsymmetrical so appear handmade, (none of the ones I have seen look that bad though?) - any firm information welcome?
obviously this has nothing to do with the modern Hohner Kohala Brand

The Ukulele Manufacturing Company ltd

In business from 1916 to 1918 - I have seen it suggested that this was really a mainland maker mainly because no one can find any records of the company being in Hawaii at the time? However there are no records of them being anywhere else either and lack of evidence is not evidence so I'll put them here until I see something firm.

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