Hawaiian Makers from the early days to WWII click for more
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!)
This is presumed to be an individual rather than a firm but not a lot is known about him. There is an address in Hotel St. Honolulu on the soundhole label which is pretty much the firm evidence and I have read an account that he apparently worked out of the same shop address as James Anahu around 1920. There is also a bit of speculation that this was actually another brand made by Kumalae due to the similarity of the Ukuleles?
Nuuanu Ukulele Co.
Another firm with not alot of information about them. From the soundhole label they were based in Honolulu and it is reasonable to assume they were based on Nuuanu St. but there is no written record for them? One theory is that there were a number of individual makers on, or around Nuuanu St. and this was some sort of collective name they all informally produced under. The is also another name that is sometimes suspected of being an alternative Kumalae brand; again due to the similarity of some of the Ukuleles to Kumalaes?
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