HARMONY
Model Search
Select Category
HARMONY
Amplifiers currently produced in China since 2007. Previously produced in Chicago, IL between the late 1940s and the mid-1970s and in various Asian locations during the 1980s and early 2000s. Currently distributed by The Original Harmony Guitar Company, Inc. in Palatine, IL. Previously distributed by Sears & Roebuck between the late 1940s and the mid-1970s, JC Penney and possibly other distributors in the 1980s, and by MBT International during the early 2000s.
The Harmony Company of Chicago, IL was one of the largest American musical instrument manufacturer. Harmony has the historical distinction of being the largest "jobber" house in the nation, producing stringed instruments for a number of different wholesalers. Individual dealers or distributors could get stringed instruments with their own brand name on them if they ordered more than 100 pieces. At one time, Harmony was producing the largest percentage of stringed instruments in the U.S. market.
The company was founded by Wilhelm J.F. Shultz in 1892. Business expanded exponentially and by 1915 the company already had a 125 person workforce and $250,000 in annual sales. In 1916, Sears, Roebuck & Company purchased Harmony and in 1925 they produced 250,000 units. Most of these guitars were sold through Sears in their catalog (about 35%-40% in 1930). In 1930, they sold 500,000 units, and only sold to wholesalers. Harmony became sort of a steamroller, bought trademarks and kept selling guitars and other equipment faster than they could make them.
In the 1940s, Harmony introduced guitar amplifiers to complement the increasingly popular electric guitar. Through the 1950s and 1960s Harmony continued to sell guitars, amplifiers, and other instruments at a rapid pace. Unlike many companies that went bankrupt by the end of the 1960s, Harmony managed to survive and thrive in the guitar industry. However, the 1970s finally took its toll on the large company and they closed in 1976.
In the late 1970s, the Harmony trademark was sold and licensed for use on a line of Asian-built guitars. From the late 1970s through the 1990s, Harmony was mainly used on cheap entry-level guitars that were often sold through mass merchandisers. The trademark and licensing agreements were also bought and sold several times throughout this period. In 2000, MBT International began to distribute Harmony guitars with a line of acoustic and electric instruments, as well as unbranded amplifiers, mainly based on popular American designs; however, by 2001, this licensing agreement was dissolved.
Current Harmony president Charlie Subecz bought the Harmony trademark in the mid-1990s, and by the mid-2000s, he decided to reintroduce the Harmony guitar line. Instead of using Harmony as simply a budget brand of copied models, Subecz went to work on offering vintage Harmony guitars that were reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately, no blueprints or records existed on Harmony's vintage guitars, so Subecz and his crew had to obtain physical examples of these guitars. Examples were then sent to Korea where they were precisely duplicated and readied for production. Harmony is currently offering a line of small guitar and bass amps with tweed coverings. For more information, visit Harmony's website or contact them directly.

From Blue Book Publications:


No part of this information may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, by photograph, mimeograph, fax transmission or any other mechanical or electronic means. Nor can it be broadcast or transmitted, by translation into any language, nor by electronic recording or otherwise, without the express written permission from the publisher.