Dating my harmony guitar
If we take inflation into account, this same guitar would actually sell for around 0 today.This is roughly the same price for most entry-level acoustic guitars these days, but the two main differences are that the H1213 is an archtop and it was made in the US (most modern entry-level acoustics are flattops produced in Asia).The “3714” is the serial number of your guitar, but little information has been uncovered as to what this series of numbers represents.More than likely, it was a consecutive production number of that particular model for either the first or second half of the year.While most collectors aren’t necessarily going to boast that they own a number of Harmony guitars, we shouldn’t forget the important “first axe” role Harmony played for many guitarists.This company took mass production of guitars to the next level.At the height of the guitar boom in the mid-1960s, Harmony was building more than 1000 instruments per day.
These “hardwoods” were actually birch (grained to resemble mahogany and spruce) and maple (grained to look like rosewood) for the fretboard. Other Archtone owners may notice a slightly different model number, but with the exception of a tenor version, the only difference is the finish.
The Archtone acoustics were some of the most popular guitars ever produced by Harmony.
While production totals are unavailable, we can safely say that tens of thousands of these instruments were manufactured.
The “F” preceding the year was often thought to be a fall production indicator while the other letter stamp they would use was an “S,” which researchers thought stood for a spring production instrument.
However, a former Harmony employee notified a Harmony database website that it is more likely an “F” stands for “first” and “S” stands for “second.” He explained that Harmony would shut the factory down for two weeks in July and that guitars produced before this break were stamped “F,” while guitars produced after were stamped “S.” The H1213 is the model number as indicated in Harmony’s catalogs and literature.
I contacted Tommy’s Guitars and they tried to find the original photo but the sale was some time ago and they could not find a better quality photo.