Supro lap steel dating
These small guitars hand peanut-shaped bodies and chunky, 25-scale necks; the bodies were available with or without cutaways and with one or two pickups.
The National-branded guitars were available in a dark sunburst finish, while the Supro equivalents were at first covered in a plastic faux-pearlescent plastic commonly referred to as mother of toilet seat.
About the beginning of the 1960s, Valco had ceased production of most archtop models and revamped its amplifier line.
National amps now bore flashy chrome panels, and the largest ones quickly grew to accommodate two 12 speakers, plus effects like tremolo and reverb.
These pre-war electric instruments are fairly rare today, though the lap steels pop up with some regularity.
The archtop bodies for the guitars were sourced from Regal and then from Kay, but the electronics were developed and manufactured by National-Dobro.
These were fairly plain, understated instruments, however, so in 1955 Valco introduced the National model 1104, also called the Town and Country.
This new top-of-the-line guitar was designed to compete with Gibsons Les Paul model, complete with a single-cutaway body and two large, chrome-covered pickups.
The solid maple body had ivory-colored binding and a matching plate covering the back.
National merged with the Dobro company, another maker of resonator guitars, around 1932 to form the National Dobro Corporation.
The company began producing electric instruments in the 1930s that included electric guitars, lap steels, mandolins and amplifiers.
By the end of the 1950s it had introduced a variety of guitars under the National and Supro names, and it had also begun building guitars for other retailers brands such as Academy and Silvertone.