North American Luthiers of the 20th c. click for more

F.W.Alpeter Double Bass Uke (c 1927)
F.W.Alpeter Harp Ukulele
There were some great instrument makers and artists of the past who made some, often very nice, Ukuleles at some time during their careers, even if this wasn't their main output. It can sometimes be difficult to find out information about them, including if they actually made the instruments attributed to them?

F(ranz) W(alter) Altpeter

Working out of New York originally and Chicago in the 1920's he was an inventor as much as a luthier and patented at least one version of a Harp Ukulele. Few of his instruments survive with the most famous being the "Double Bass" Uke (double bass here referring to the two set of sympathetic bass strings and nothing to do with the size or scale of the instrument). He was prone to nervous breakdowns and died in 1927

Nicola Calace

Grandson of the famous Italian Lute maker Nicola Calace and brother of the famous Italian Mandolin maker Raffaele Calace he emigrated to New York in 1906 after falling out with his brother over the family luthiery business in Italy. Once in the U.S. he started his own luthiery workshop and made all sorts of chordophones including Ukuleles under his own name and with, (or for the exact relationship is unclear, but it has been proved they were not the same man), his friend Nicola Turturro


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