Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Grandpa’s Gretsch

1

When I was a kid (1972) I got interested in guitar. Found out that my grandpa played in a 4 piece back in the day. He showed me his Gretsch and played a bit for me. I was hooked.

Grandpa is gone now and so is his Gretsch, but I'd like to know if anyone can help me to identify which guitar it was. I remember that it had a pickup that you could remove. Here's the only picture I have. I think this picture was taken sometime in the mid -late 40's. He's the one in the bib overalls.

3

I dunno, lx... body appears to be too large for a 100 model. But then again, the angle of the photo can be deceiving.

Also, interesting that the fellow on the far left is playing a tenor guitar. He must be a banjo player.

4

When I was a kid (1972) I got interested in guitar. Found out that my grandpa played in a 4 piece back in the day. He showed me his Gretsch and played a bit for me. I was hooked.

Grandpa is gone now and so is his Gretsch, but I'd like to know if anyone can help me to identify which guitar it was. I remember that it had a pickup that you could remove. Here's the only picture I have. I think this picture was taken sometime in the mid -late 40's. He's the one in the bib overalls.

– markmcd01

Fantastic picture.

5

TP, yeah, that's exactly why I said it looks to be -- it does seem bigger than a 16", and I'm always very interested in any "mystery" Gretsches. But I'm all too aware that photography isn't about the truth - it's about lighting. That said, it's a very cool photo.

6

Looks to be a post-war Synchromatic 100. You can see a pic in the Catalog section of Gretsch Pages. The pick-up was probably a DeArmond.

– lx

I agree... the headstock shape is pretty unique to that model.

I might have one for sale if you have interest Mark. It's just a player and could probably use some set-up work. Let me know if you want to see a photo or two.

7

I agree that the body looks too big to be a 100. Headstock shape is different than my '41.

8

I dunno, lx... body appears to be too large for a 100 model. But then again, the angle of the photo can be deceiving.

Also, interesting that the fellow on the far left is playing a tenor guitar. He must be a banjo player.

– Tartan Phantom

Possibly a martin tenor?

9

I agree that the body looks too big to be a 100. Headstock shape is different than my '41.

– Windsordave

Wartime Synchro 100’s were very different than your pre-war version Dave.

11

The wartime Synchro's are thought (by me) to appear in the '44-48ish timeframe. They are clearly a down-graded guitar from the pre-war models.

12

Here's an ad from a late 40s mag... "Home from the Wars" that depicts the wartime iteration of the Synchro 100. It morphed into the 6014 "Corsair" model in the 50s.

13

Possibly a martin tenor?

– DCBirdMan

That was my first thought, too.

Overall, just a dynamite photo. Thanks for sharing, markmcd01!

14

My war time New Yorker, likely made by Harmony or someone like that.

15

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'd love to see a photo or two. I remember that Grandpa had the original sales receipt, I would be interested in what your asking price is.

Thanks!

16

I really appreciate all the dialogue this post has generated. Particularly love the nostalgia.

17

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'd love to see a photo or two. I remember that Grandpa had the original sales receipt, I would be interested in what your asking price is.

Thanks!

– markmcd01

I’m traveling the next few days... but will get some pix of my Synchro 100 posted in a couple of days.

I’d love to know what the date on your Grandads guitar’s original bill sale was. That kind of stuff assists us in calibrating the serial numbering system to a chronological timeline.

18

Any idea what music that combo played, Mark? By today's standards, it's an idiosyncratic grouping of instruments that would (given the accordian and tenor) be used for some rootsy ethnic music - but that doesn't shed any light on what your granddad and his compadres were playing.

Bibbed overalls, stereotypically, suggest down-home country of the "string band" variety. But that would rarely have included accordian.

So what was it?

19

Any idea what music that combo played, Mark? By today's standards, it's an idiosyncratic grouping of instruments that would (given the accordian and tenor) be used for some rootsy ethnic music - but that doesn't shed any light on what your granddad and his compadres were playing.

Bibbed overalls, stereotypically, suggest down-home country of the "string band" variety. But that would rarely have included accordian.

So what was it?

– Proteus

Don't you recognize the pioneers of thrash metal when you see them?

20

As promised... here's the war-time Synchromatic 100 that's languishing in my closet. I got it very early in my Gretsch addiction and because it was very inexpensive, and really old, and was a Gretsch I bought it. It doesn't get played sadly.

22

I wasn't totally sure what type of songs they played, but I guessed mostly Country type songs, because that's what grandpa listened to later in life.

I checked with my uncle and he said they played mostly Son’s of the Pioneers songs. Says he remembers songs like Wagon Wheel, Moon light Bay, By the light of the Silvery Moon, Let me call you Sweet Heart, True Love, They also did a lot of Polka and Waltz. Polka’s are a favorite for accordion players, and they are very lively for people to dance to.

I am interested in the guitar pics posted by kc_eddie_b. looks like it has a few deep scratches. How's the neck & frets? has it had any work done? mainly interested in the play-ability.

23

Hi Mark... I'll pull the Synchro 100 out and re-familiarize myself with it. It's been awhile. Those pix I posted were taken a couple of years ago. My recollection is that the binding has been replaced (which is a bonus), but I'll need to see how it plays. I'll contact you off-line to discuss further.


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