Rickenbacker® Model "Ken Roberts"
The Ken Roberts Model was an acoustic/electric standard
guitar manufactured by the Harmony Co. in Chicago. Ken Roberts was one of George
Beauchamp´s friends and a top movie studio guitarist. This model appeared in catalogs and
ads from late 1935 through 1939. The Ken Roberts guitar had a bound neck that joined the
body at the seventeenth fret. There were twenty-two frets total. The body was a concert
sized flat-top with F holes, equipped with the Kauffman manual Vibrola tailpiece. The
finish was a shaded two tone brown. It had one horshoe pickup installed by Electro
String.(Source: The Complete History Of Rickenbacker Guitars by Richard R. Smith)
Ryan Stetson who shot these photos has this story to tell:
"The guitar on this page is a 1936 "KEN ROBERTS" RICKENBACKER Guitar. It has been stored for the last decade and possibly the finest surviving example of one of the first Electric Spanish guitars ever made. Factory records show 46 produced and three possible survivors are known. THIS GUITAR IS 100% ORIGINAL. The horseshoe pickup is patent pending. There is a Kauffman Vibrola tailpiece. This guitar also has a "correct era" working amplifier. Note the spelling of Rickenbacker (Rickenbacher) on the headstock and the amplifier. The spelling, to the present Rickenbacker,changed during second world war".
Courtesy of Ryan Stetson
©1999 Björn Eriksson
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