DYER, W.J. & BRO.
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DYER, W.J. & BRO.
Guitars previously produced during the 1900s and 1910s in Chicago, IL. Also see Maurer, Prairie State, Euphonon, Wm. C. Stahl, and Larson Brothers.
From the 1880s to the 1930s, the Dyer store in St. Paul, MN was the place for musical merchandise for the Midwest in the areas northwest of Chicago. They sold about anything music related on the market at that time. The Larson brothers of Maurer & Co., Chicago were commissioned to build a line of Symphony harp-guitars and Symphony harp-mandolin orchestra pieces along with the J.F. Stetson brand of guitars. They started building these great instruments circa 1905.
The original design of these harp-style instruments came from that of Chris Knutsen who had been building that style since 1898. The early Larsons showed a resemblance to the Knutsen ideas but evolved to a final design by 1912. The harp-guitars are labeled Style #4 through #8 where the higher the number, the better the grade of material and intricacy of the trim. The Style #4 is very plain with dot inlays in the fingerboard and no binding on the back. The Style #8 has a pearl trimmed top, fancy peghead inlay and the beautiful tree-of-life fingerboard. This tree-of-life pattern is also used on the fanciest Maurers and Prairie States having the twelve-fret-to-the-body necks.
The harp-mandolin series includes a harp-mandola and harp-mando-cello also in different degrees of ornamentation. Some of the Stetson guitars are Larson-made, but others were possibly made by Harmony, Lyon & Healy, or others. If the Stetson trademark is burned into the inside back strip, it is probably a Larson. Source: Hartman, Robert Carl, The Larsons' Creations: Guitars and Mandolins.

From Blue Book Publications:


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