Rickenbacker® Model S-59

Rickenbacker Model S-59 Rickenbacker Model S-59

Model S-59

The model S-59 Spanish Guitar was introduced in 1940 and deleted after the war. This guitar was an acoustic/electric with a detachable version of the horseshoe pickup created and patented by Paul Barth. (Electro String sold the pickup separatly as an accessory.) The 1941 Grossman Music catalog had this description of the S-59: " A new Blonde, arch-top and back, Super Auditorium size, having shell bound edges, ovalled, rosewood fingerboard, with pearl inlay position markings, adjustable bridge, and celluloid guardplate. Has good quality, deep tone alone without amplification."

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Model S-59 shell bindings

The Kay Guitar Co. made the S-59 and Rickenbacker installed the pickup, but the records contain a mystery. Inventory sheets indicate that in 1941 the Kay Guitar Co. made an $8.50 (wholesale) guitar and a $16.50 (wholesale) guitar for Electro String. Electro String advertised only one model, but obviously there were two. Maybe the $16.50 was another Artist Model type guitar comparable to the earlier ones made by Gibson. (Source: The Complete History Of Rickenbacker Guitars by Richard R. Smith)

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Model S-59 detachable horseshoe pickup

This was patented on 9 Feb 1943 (Patent #2310606) and the application was made on 25 October 1941 (Application #416,532). Work on this pickup, by Paul Barth incidentally, didn't begin until sometime in 1940.

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Model S-59 neck


Courtesy of Michael Dindore

©1999 Björn Eriksson

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