Small pre-war American Firms click for more

Antonio Carlucci Patent
Wood Mfg. Co. - From a 1918 Music Trade Review

Artex Ukuleles from the 1935 catalogue
As the first wave of Ukulele popularity grew, so a number of new companies jumped on the bandwagon. Some were Manufacturers with a history of making other instruments, some were Distributors, (or Jobbers as they were called at the time) who decided there was profit in having their own brands to market. Often now though there is very little information on what they made or sold. On this page I will continue with brands that I have only read about or seen advertisements for and not seen actual instruments I will try to include some of the evidence that I have seen too.

Metropolitan Music Co.

Founded in 1920 as the Czechoslovak Musical Instruments Company to import and distribute John Juzek Violins from Czechoslovakia. The firm changed its name sometime between 1932 and 35 to Metropolitan to reflect the increasing breadth of instruments it was distributing, (it is apparently still in business). In the 30's it distributed its house brand called Artex that included most types of chordophone including Ukuleles and Banjoleles. I far as I can tell the Ukuleles were made by Harmony, but I've only seen catalogue entries.

R Antonio Carlucci

A New York based Italian American luthier who filed a number of patients for Banjo instruments in the early 1920's including one for a Banjo Ukulele tone ring/head tensioner. I know he ran his own workshop and had other staff working there, I know he did work for, or was taken over by Oscar Schmidt, (I know the R stands for Rocco), so there must be instruments as well I've just never seen any?

Wood Manufacturing Co.

Most of what I know is in the article. They were based in Los Angeles and they were certainly in existence for 1917 and 18 but I've seen no references to them after 1918 Unfortunately with a name like this it is almost impossible to do any meaningful Internet searches? There are a number of mainland made "unknown maker Ukuleles shown in the Ukulele Hall of Fame reference section though and its possible that Wood Manufacturing made one or more of these? There is also reference there to a Los Angeles based brand called Harmony, (nothing to do with Harmony in Chicago), I can find no other references to this maker either and given that branding your Ukuleles Wood would be a bad idea possibly this was a brand name for them too?

If anyone does know more or has a picture of any of these please let me know.


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