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

Some photos courtesy of
Carl Larsen Maurer Concert taropatch ukulele
Larson Bros Maurer Taropatch
Walter Slackhoust Tutti the Clown Ukulele
Tutti the Clown
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?

the Larson Brothers (August and Carl)

Having emigrated from Sweden in the late 19th century the ended up in Chicago where they worked for a number of the local factories like the Cubley Drum Factory, Maurer Mandolin and Guitars and possibly Lyon & Healey (I have read that they did and didn't work there?). In 1900 with some outside help they brought out Robert Maurer and within a few years became the sole owners (and workers) in that firm, they continued to use the brand name Maurer for some of their instruments until 1924. They made mainly Guitars and Mandolins, both for direct sale and for others like William Stahl, StetsonSoCal and Bruno to brand, (reputedly Regal also sub-contracted the production of the very best Regal models to them too?). For their own instruments they never actually used their own name using, as well as Maurer, Euphonon, Prairie State, W. J. Dyer, F.W. Winter and possibly others, (it is also possible these were brand names of other distributors they were OEMing for too?) Another story about them is they made 3 Guitars for Les Paul, at least one of which was to become one of the prototypes for his famous Gibson Guitar. Though officially retiring they both worked building instruments pretty much until they died, (August 1944, Carl 1946). They did not make many Ukuleles and the one pictured was made by Carl specifically for his son in 1917, (hence the Maurer branding) It has since been badly damaged with both the neck and the bridge being replaced.

Leonard Young

He was a luthier from Idaho, USA and his Ukuleles have distinctive butterfly bridges. He started his luthiery apprenticeship in 1963 and continued making instruments until he died in 2007

Walter H Stackhouse - Tutti the Clown

Born in 1900 and died in 1965, he worked out of Santa Barbara, California making a number of instruments including Ukuleles. He put a sound hole label in his Instruments reading "Made by Tutti the clown, W.H. Stackhouse of Santa Barbara"

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