Martin Ukuleles

 

The 1920s were booming years for the Martin Company. The ukulele was capturing the fancy of the American public. The first Martin ukuleles were not well received. They were made much like a guitar. There was too much bracing in the body, particularly in the top, which was of course spruce. The excessive bracing and the spruce top gave the instruments a dead and lackluster tone that failed to appeal to the buying public.

As they recognized the shortcomings of its initial ukulele design, Martin went to work at producing an acceptable uke. By reducing the amount of bracing and substituting mahogany for spruce, Martin quickly garnered a large share of the ukulele market. The demand for the products was such that Martin was forced to double the capacity of the North Street plant with an additional wing and increase in the work force. Guitar production in 1920 totaled 1,361 units; records of ukulele production were not kept, but Christian Frederick Martin III estimates that the company turned out nearly twice as many ukuleles as guitars during the ’20s.

×
×