The Rickenbacker lap steel was possibly the very first successful electric guitar put into larger scale production, but Rickenbacker's influence goes back to the early National days. Adolph Rickenbacker - then spelled Richenbacher - had a tool and die shop near National, and was contracted to produce metal bodies and resonator cones for National guitars, ukuleles and mandolins. Eventually, George Beauchamp of National was investigating electrified instruments, and with Paul Barth and Adolph Rickenbacher developed the 'Frying Pan' guitar with the patented horseshoe pickup, versions of which are still used on modern Rickenbacker basses. They formed a new company named 'RoPatIn', which changed fairly quickly to 'Electro String Instrument Company'. The principles used in these guitars influenced both Fender and Gibson in their development efforts.
Here we see a Richenbacher Electro Model NS lap steel, produced very close to or during 1948. The body is stamped from sheet steel. As there is no serial number, dating is established through various characteristics. On this model, the strings are mounted on holes in the top, which is a post-WW2 feature; pre-war, strings went through the body. The pickup magnet is 1.25 inches wide, also a post-WW2 change from the 1.5 inch magnet width on pre-war pickups. The NS model was introduced in 1946, but had black position marker dots until 1948. The model itself was discontinued around 1950.
There are two versions of the headstock logo - one is the decal as seen here, the other a metal plate. Both logos read Rickenbacher Electro RE Los Angeles.
This very nice lap steel is in overall very good, original condition with little wear. The original fibre (cardboard) case is included.
This is a consignment piece. Prices shown here are in US dollars and are based on a recent exchange rate. For Canadian dollar pricing, please follow the More Details link here to our website posting at www.12fret.com . Prices do not include shipping, taxes, or any import duties.
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