1920s Harwood Parlor Guitar

(Serial No. 35493) Excellent restored condition. “Harwood” is one of those mystery brand names that dot the American musical instrument landscape of the pre-depression age. In late 19th and early 20th centuries HARWOOD was a trademark used by J.W. Jenkins Sons of Kansas City, Missouri, one of the biggest jobbers in the western US, for their best quality instruments. The Harwood Guitar Co. built guitars from 1885 to about 1930. Many details of this guitar are similar to the Haynes Guitars built under the Bay State and Tilton names. Jenkins claimed to have made the line in-house; recent research supports this and in fact points to a 30 year plus operation of a small factory in Kansas City building fairly high-grade merchandise. Back and sides are Brazilian rosewood, while the very tight-grain spruce top (described as “Norway Spruce”) is ladder braced in “the Harwood System” and has survived quite well with only minimal bellying. The neck/body joint is at the 12th fret, which is typical for guitars in the period. The ebony fretboard carries pearl slotted diamonds at frets 3,5,7, and 12, and an engraved bone “Harwood” logo plate inlaid between the last frets. The top is edged with celluloid binding and multiple wood purfling, while the soundhole has the same purfling and two additional rings. I think this is a size 1 3/4 guitar, about the size of a 12 fret Martin size 0. Overall length is 37 in., 13 3/8 in. wide at lower bout, and 3 3/4 in. in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/8 in. Width of nut is 1 3/4 in., and the neck has the typical 20s-30s V shape. Braced for steel strings. I think the guitar has been oversprayed after the restoration, as you can see strumming marks under the finish where the pickguard would have been. Its a very comfortable, nice sounding small body ideally suited as a couch guitar. Its also perfect for ragtime or any other fingerstyle picking. Wonderful tone and volume, much more than you would expect of such a small guitar. Click here for a video clip of this guitar as played by Ed Wright of Brandon FL. Comes with a newer case. Click for pricing and to return to the main page