Chinese made Instruments from the 20th Century click for more

Skylark brand Soprano made in the peoples Democratic republic of China found at Ukulele Corner
(was) My Skylark
2013 Chinese Skylark Tenor
2013 Skylark Tenor
At the end of the "2nd wave of Ukulele popularity", (around the first half of the 1970's) the big Chicago makers had all gone, most of the Japanese makers had gone, there were very few Hawaiian makers and even Martin, whose fortunes had been made in the 1st wave of popularity gave up making Ukulele, So you see very few Ukuleles made in the 1980's or 90s. Most of the ones you do see were made in Mainland China, (which was still staunchly communist at this time), and had come fairly late to jumping on the bandwagon of the 2nd wave. Exact dates are hard to find, in fact most information beyond what it says on the lable is hard to find, but mass production of Ukuleles started in the Shanghai region around the 1960's and continued through until the 1990's with some very budget brands. I have never seen anything that wasn't a Soprano though there was some variation around that scale length and the main brands appear to have come from different factories. As these were the only cheaply produced Ukuleles of the time they were widely exported, even to Hawaii, but this production had ceased before the 3rd wave boom brought a lot of Ukulele manufacture 1200km south in Guangzhou. Here are the brand names I have seen used, and any further information I can find.

Skylark

the label says these were made in Shanghai and these were small for a Soprano They are clearly different for the Shanghai contemporaries Lark and though there are some similarities with Parrot there is a good distance between Shanghai and Tianjin so I don't thing they are directly connected However there are Yuansheng and Plum Blossoms branded Ukuleles that clearly did come from the Skylark factory.

In 2013, I have seen on sale in Australia, a Tenor Ukulele claiming to be the same brand? It is using some similar looking labelling in the sound hole. (but not the bright blue) and looks like a standard low end Chinese instrument. Whether it does have any connection with the original brand I don't know?

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