Hawaiian Makers from the early days to WWII click for more




fake hawaiian ukulele sound hole label


C.F. & Co. Label
Thayers Pianos Hawaiian soprano Ukulele
Branded by Thayers Pianos
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!)

There are a number of names of makers or distributors of Ukuleles that I have come across while looking at old records and the like for Hawaii but I have not seen anything that can be specifically attributed to them (but then there are a lot of clearly early Hawaiian Ukuleles that have no maker marks on them - David Hurd has made an application that helps try and Identify the maker by size and style of build if you have one you are trying to identify,  http://ukuleles.com/?page_id=526 is the link to this application and it needs to be run in an Internet Explorer Browser or have an IE emulation tab installed on your browser to work  - it was right identifying mine) :-

  • C. F. & Co. I've only seen the label and some poor pictures of bits of a Ukulele that didn't look like it was Hawaiian made. the bridge was similar to a Regal and the neck was decidedly triangular. Also I have seen instruments with fake C.F. Martin & Co printed labels in a similar manner to this. Its probably a mainland fake name of the kind that led to the introduction of the Tabu mark but it can stay here until I'm 100% sure?
  • Ernesto Machado
  • Ishiga Sakai
  • J. F. Rosa
  • João Soares
  • Jonah P Davis
  • Jose Vierra 1901- 03
  • Lot K Pelio
  • Manuel Fernandez 1901 - 03
  • Naapohu - the 4th registered maker in the Honolulu Business Directory of 1898
  • Paradise Ukulele & Guitar Works 1917-26
  • Ross & Kapio
  • Royal just Royal as a brand no second word or anything

  • These are people who branded early Hawaiian Ukuleles but didn't actually make them:-
  • Byron Mauzy - A Californian Piano manufacturer and owner of a San Francisco music shop. In 1916 he signed a deal with a Honolulu maker(?) to produce Ukuleles with his name on for distribution on the mainland
  • Thayers Pianos - didn't make Ukuleles but were the biggest Piano distributor in Hawaii and also sold their own branded Ukuleles - they are still in Business
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