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19-Dec-2017 02:01

George Beauchamp, one of National’s founders, is credited by some with creating the “Frying Pan,” an electric lap steel guitar, in 1931 with Adolph Rickenbacker.Rickenbacker had founded Ro-Pat-In Corp., which became Electro String, which eventually evolved into Rickenbacker International Corp.Louis Dopyera and employees Victor Smith and Al Frost bought the company around 1934 and renamed it Valco, combining the first letters of the founders’ first names.In 1936 they relocated to Chicago to be near suppliers and other manufacturers, according to Victor Smith, as quoted in Wheeler’s book.He worked at National, and later at Dobro, and was largely responsible for the production methods that made it possible to mass-produce metal and Bakelite guitar bodies.“Single-cutaway Valco Res-O-Glas guitars came in many flavors,” Ivankovich says.

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Jimi’s was an off-white, 1957 Supro Ozark 1560s that his father bought for him in 1959 at Myers Music in Seattle for .

Dopyera retained some National ownership rights and responsibilities, and there was what we would now call “co-opetition” between the companies.