Weymann guitars

Weymann Guitars is an American manufacturing company of musical instruments. Established in 1864 in Philadelphia, Weymann is one of the oldest instrument companies in the country. Originally founded as "H. A. Weymann and Son" by German immigrant Henry Arnold Weymann, Weymann patented the mandolute and also developed the first "Jumbo" body acoustic guitar produced during the turn of the century, nearly two decades before competitors in the instrument industry.[1]

Weymann
Formerly
  • Weymann & Son
  • Keystone State
  • Weymann & Co.
TypePrivate
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1864; 157 years ago (1864) in Philadelphia
FounderHenry Arnold Weyman
Headquarters,
Key people
Harry William Weymann (former owner)
ProductsClassical, acoustic and tenor guitars, banjos, mandolutes, ukuleles
Websiteweymannco.com

Weymann's most notable artists include Jerry Garcia [2] of the Grateful Dead & Jimmie Rodgers [3] who is considered the pioneering father of country music.[1][4]

Since its inception, the company has manufactured classical, acoustic and tenor guitars, banjos, the aforementioned mandolute and ukuleles.[5]

Early historyEdit

 
Mandolute, patented by Weymann in 1913

H. A. Weymann migrated to America in 1852, arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. H. A. Weymann was naturalized in 1858. In 1864, H.A. Weymann commenced a small business and in 1865, H. A. was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer as having an annual taxable income of $136. It has been said, H. A. Weymann's early business was in the jewelry & watch retail, along with clocks, harmonicas, sheet music, and small general retail goods.[4]

InnovationsEdit

 
This Weymann Orchestra Style 4 banjo (1926), is displayed at the American Banjo Museum as an example of highly decorated Jazz Age banjos.

When H.A. Weymann died in 1892, his son, Harry William Weymann, took over the business. Harry was motivated and determined to build a music company, opposed to the then current, retail business. Harry set forth a plan to manufacture and wholesale his own musical instrument line and in 1894, the first evidence of Weymann’s manufacturing appeared in the S.S. Stewarts Banjo & Guitar Journal. According to an article in the Fretboard Journal, there is evidence of Weymann’s employing a talented luthier named Carl C. Holzapfel who had arrived from Germany.[6][1][7]

In 1899 the S.S. Stewart Banjo factory in Philadelphia closed following the death of the company’s founder the previous year. Harry Weymann purchased a selection of materials and equipment from the factory and hired ex-Stewart workers to develop his manufacturing business.

This is the time that H. A. Weymann and Son, the company, started earning media coverage in the Music Trade Review, and local newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, as a significant music instrument wholesaler. Banjos then became a big part of their manufacturing. Weymann banjos from the late 1890s and early 1900s have traits of S.S. Stewart instruments; and some are made with Stewart parts.[8]

Jerry GarciaEdit

Jerry Garcia was the legendary guitarist and frontman for the band Grateful Dead who began his career playing a mid-grade Weymann banjo. To acquire the instrument, Jerry and his wife used their recent wedding cash and sold all of Jerry's previous instruments to afford the banjo. Jerry and his wife nicknamed the banjo "John" as the instrument had been previously inlaid with the name "John" in its Peghead. Jerry Garcia welcomed this unique oditiy, as his middle name was also "John". Jerry played "John" up into the 60's where it was replaced with a high-end gold-plated Weymann.[9]

Weymann MuseumEdit

In 2017, Weymann announced their plans to develop a private museum, dedicated to the preservation of Weymann estate & factory content. The Weymann collection of instruments, which spans several centuries, is estimated to be the largest private collection of musical instruments in the United States. According to industry professionals, the Weymann "vault" of instruments houses nearly every production electric guitar ever built, since 1930/1940 from Weymann, Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker and several other makers. Of great rarity, the original templates used by Paul Bigsby, is also owned by Weymann. In 2019, IMIRAD speculated the value of the collection to rest close to 500 million dollars. [10]

In 2019, a 20,000 square foot location was negotiated on behalf of the Weymann Museum, close to the Museum of the American Revolution, located on 101 S 3rd Street. On July 4th, 2020 Weymann announced the majority of their vintage warehouse collection, was officially registered with IMIRAD, the International Musical Instrument Registry and Database. [11]

PatentsEdit

  • Mandolute: H. W. WEYMANN. APPLICATION FILED JULY 27, 1912. 43,684. Patented Mar 4, 1913.
  • Stringed Musical Instrument: H. W. WEYMANN. APPLICATION FILED APR. 14, 1916. 1,215,598. Patented Feb. 13, 1917.
  • Banjo Attachment: H. W. WEYMANN. APPLICATION FILED JUL 25. 1916. 1,312,882. Patented Aug. 12, 1919.
  • Banjo: USPTO Patent: 1,442,756 (expired)
  • Armrest & String Protector: USPTO Patent: 1,520,492 (expired)
  • Tuning Peg for Musical Instrument: USPTO Patent: 1,544,722 (expired)
  • Tailpiece for Stringed Musical Instrument: USPTO Patent: 1,615,514

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Guitar World. "A Century-old Super Jumbo by Weymann". Guitar World. Guitar World. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. ^ Rothman, Sandy. "The Banjo Years". thebestofwebsite.com. thebestofwebsite.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  3. ^ Journal, Fretboard. "The Jimmie Rodgers Special". Fretboard Journal. Fretboard Journal. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Robinson, Charles. "Weymann Guitars". Leaving This World. Robinson, Charles. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ AN EARLY 1917 WEYMANN UKULELE by Charles Robinson on Leaving This World, 15 Jan 2019
  6. ^ Fretboard Journal. "No. 11, 2008". Fretboard Journal. Fretboard Journal. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  7. ^ University of Rochester. "S.S. Stewart's Banjo & Guitar Journal". urresearch.rochester.edu. Rochester University. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  8. ^ PBS. "S.S. Stewart Banjo". PBS.org. PBS. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  9. ^ Rothman, Sandy. "The Banjo Years". thebestofwebsite.com. thebestofwebsite.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  10. ^ Company, Weymann. "Happy 4th". www.weymannco.com. Weymann. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  11. ^ Company, Weymann. "Happy 4th". www.weymannco.com. Weymann. Retrieved 4 July 2020.

External linksEdit