SILVERTONE
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SILVERTONE
Instruments currently produced in Asia and distributed by Samick. Instruments previously produced in the U.S. from circa 1940s-1970s. See chapter on House Brands.
This trademark has been identified as a House Brand owned and used by Sears and Roebuck between 1941 and 1970. There was no company or factory; Sears owned the name and applied it to various products from such manufacturers as Harmony, Valco, Danelectro, and Kay. Sears and Roebuck acquired Harmony in 1916 to control its respectable ukulele production. Harmony generally sold around forty percent of its guitar production to Sears. The following is a word of caution: Just because it says Silvertone, do not automatically assume it is a Danelectro! In fact, study the guitar to determine possible origin (Harmony, Valco and Kay were originally built in Illinois, Danelectro in New Jersey; so all were U.S. However, mid-1960s models were built in Japan by Teisco, as well!). Best of all, play it! If it looks good, and sounds okay - it was meant to be played. As most Silvertones were sold either through the catalog or in a store, they will generally be entry level quality instruments.
Certain Silvertone models have garnered some notoriety, such as the Danelectro-produced combination of guitar and amp-in-case. Sears also marketed the Teisco company's TRG-1 (or TRE-100) electric guitar with amp built in! This guitar has a six-on-a-side "Silvertone" headstock, and a single cutaway pregnant Telecaster body design (the small built-in speaker is in the tummy). Harmony produced a number of electric hollowbody guitars (like the Sovereign) for the Silvertone label; Kay also offered a version of their Thin Twin model as well as arch top models.
Today, Silvertone guitars are being produced by Samick. They have a wide variety of acoustic models from dreadnoughts to classicals. Prices are targeted to those who are entry to mid level guitar players. Paul Stanley of Kiss is an endorser of Silvertone now (c. 2002), and has an entire line of guitars including an acoustic model. For more information, contact Silvertone/Samick directly or visit their website.

From Blue Book Publications:


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