US Small Importers/Manufacturers/Distributors post WWII Click for more
The war, and subsequent occupation in the Pacific meant a lot of US servicemen travelled to or from the conflict via Hawaii, and often picked up a Ukulele somewhere along the way. Given its portability and the remembered childhood popularity they also often learned to play them and when they came home after the war this led to the second wave of popularity for the Ukulele, (but not in Europe as they were less involved in the Pacific war). With the rise in popularity and the rise in far eastern manufacture this meant there was a business opportunity for a lot of small companies either making, or more often importing and distributing Ukuleles. Some of these companies didn't last long and often there is not a lot of information on them beyond names on the headstocks.
I have very little information on this brand. I have seen Sopranos and Baritones with the stenciled logo on the headstock and they both look like they might be from the United Guitar Co. rather than from Japan? I have also seen similar stenciled lettering used on other brands of the period but I don't know if there is any connection between them
Another brand I know very little about except this time the Sopranos and Baritones are manufactured in Japan and I am 99.9% sure it has nothing to do with the pre WWII Globe Instruments of St Charles Illinois.
The Regan Harmonica Company was founded in San Bruno California in 1917 to try and fill the void WWI left for Imported German Harmonicas. After the War the Germans got back into the market, undercut them, and the factory closed down until WWII when pretty much the same thing happened. Post WWII industrial Germany was in a much worse state so it took longer for them to get back into the musical instrument market, but Regan could see the writing on the wall again and this time in 1950 they tried diversifying into making Ukuleles, (about 300 a month), as well. I don't know how long this strategy worked but Regan don't appear to be in business now.I have only seen Mahogany Sopranos made by them and they all seem to date from the 50s. by all accounts they are well made though
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