We’ve seen a lot of internet lists featuring weird guitars, but nothing can compare to this beast. We don’t know anything about it…maybe you can help.
The body is shaped like a human torso. A brass plaque that’s etched “The Jeff Craig Line” is glued to the face. (No luck finding it on Google.) The strings are anchored with a trapese tailpiece similar to old Stella acoustics. The pickup appears to be a Harmony Stratotone “Hershey bar” pickup.
A second brass plaque at the bridge says “Allied Artists of America – Patent Pending.”
What makes this really unique is the stuff hidden behind those grill cloths. This guitar has a built in amplifier that was powered by an old dry cell battery!
(BTW, dig the cool back cover!)
The innerds of this axe show a neck-thru-body design (we think they body may be masonite or fiberglass). There are two speakers wired up to a solid state internal amp. The original inputs even allow for an additional microphone (!) as well. We’ve removed the old, rotting dry cell battery to protect the instrument and had a luthier wire it to play straight to a regular guitar amp.
We may be looking at the world’s first amp-in-guitar combination. It was most likely built somewhere between the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Some additional notes:
- The body is painted in a stone spray finish.
- The headstock has another brass plate with no writing.
- The bridge appears to be fashioned from a Stella acoustic floating bridge (rosewood with fretwire running across the length)
- The neck is all original. It’s a standard guitar neck shape (not lap steel) and runs the length of the body.
- All parts used seem to be from the 1950’s or before.
Any idea what this thing is? Let us know!