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Mandolins and other instruments previously built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Distributed by the Elias Howe Company in Boston, MA.
Elias Howe, Jr. founded the Elias Howe Company in Boston, MA and after his death in 1895, his sons William H. Howe and Edward F. Howe produced Howe-Orme branded instruments during the late 1890s and early 1900s. George L. Orme was from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was a partner in the J.L. Orme & Son company that he also became involved in after his father's death. J.L. Orme & Son retailed musical instruments and also published sheet music in Canada. It is unknown how Howe and Orme became associated with one another, although Orme shared a patent with James S. Back for a "raised longitudinal belly ridge" for use on guitars and mandolins. This patent was later refined and a new one was issued to Edward Howe in 1897.
Howe-Orme offered a variety of acoustic guitars as well as other instruments, but they were most successful with mandolins. Their instruments featured several innovative designs including the longitudinal belly ridge, an adjustable/detachable neck, and a zero fret. Several patents were awarded to Howe-Orme and instruments often feature many of these numbers on them. Howe-Orme's mandolin line included several variations from the mandolin family including a regular mandolin, tenor mandolin, octave mandolin, and mando-cello. Unlike the bowl-back mandolins of this era, Howe-Orme began building their mandolins with a flat back and the shape resembled a guitar. It is unknown when Howe-Orme stopped building mandolins, but it is largely accepted that they lost the market to Gibson in Kalamazoo, MI. Any further information on Howe-Orme can be submitted directly to Blue Book Publications.

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