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History of Weissenborn Guitars History of Weissenborn Guitars

Hermann Weissenborn

Hermann Weissenborn is regarded as the originator of the hawaiian-guitars which bear his name until this day. Born 1865 in Thόringen/Germany, Weissenborn emigrated 1902 to the United States. He first settled in New York, where he built and repaired pianos and violins. In the year 1910 he moved to Los Angeles, California and expanded his works on building guitars - focusing his craftsmanship mainly on building Ukuleles and Steel Guitars. With hawaiian musics upcoming popularity also the interest of professional musicians in instruments for this musical art rose up - this was the hour of birth for the Weissenborn guitar.
By the time Hermann Weissenborn developed his instrument and gave the Weissenborn its characteristic details: While using Koa, the hawaiian origined Acacia, he also gave the guitar a hollow neck. Getting the Weissenborn-typical sound was only one result of this special neck construction. The resonance body - which had more space now - made it possible to reach a more voluminous sound. An absolute novelty for the non-amplified instrumentalists of the early 20th century! This concept was very successful until the first resonatorguitars by companies like Dobro and National came up in the 1920s.
Anyway, Hermann Weissenborn set himself a historical monument with his instruments. Many aficionados are eager to play on his few existing guitars. A huge demand - regarding that only a few Weissenborns of an approximated total number of 5000 different instruments built in the luthiers workshop, survived until today. Also a lot of modern artists like David Lindley, Ben Harper, Steve Dawson, Jerry Douglas, Colin John and Xavier Rudd do use this beautiful instrument - and help the Weissenborn getting in bloom again.



The following text is an article written by Weissenborn expert Ben Elder published in Acoustic Magazine April 1996 issue:


Born Again

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Weissenborn Steel, the Ultimate Hawaiian Guitar

By Ben Elder

Weissenborn Guitars

"What kind of Dobro is that?" "Its a Weissenborn." "Whats that?" "Weissenborns eat Dobros for lunch!" Such is David Lindleys appraisal of his unconventional old Hawaiian guitars with their raised strings, flush frets, hollow necks gracefully flowing from the body, and that distinctive woody sound: astounding volume, sweet sustain, and deep, warm tone.

The Weissenborn Hawaiian steel, a platypus among guitars to the uninitiated, is an instrument brilliantly and specifically conceived for Hawaiian playing. These hollow-neck Hawaiians are enjoying a renaissance with players nearly 60 years after the last one was made. They might have languished in obscurity if not for Lindley (the king of oddball instruments and a Dobro lover--really), Ry Cooder, John Fahey, Steve Fishell, and singer-songwriter Ben Harper. They have also been added to the arsenals of Dobro and steel players like Mike Auldridge, Bob Brozman, Cindy Cashdollar, Jerry Douglas, John Ely, Greg Leisz, and Sally Van Meter. Many session pros now routinely carry along a Weissenborn for steel or Dobro calls. "Whenever you take one of these things into the studio, people always say, "Wow! What an amazing instrument!" says Greg Leisz. "Engineers flip out every time."

THE STEEL CRAZE

Like most aspects of guitar history, the origin of Hawaiian steel technique has been long and vehemently debated. In any case, the style had been evolving for at least a generation by the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, which brought many island musicians to the mainland and helped make Hawaiian music the most popular style in America by the next year. In the wake of this popularity emerged the hollow-neck steel, which offered improved volume and tone thanks to a sound chamber extending from the endpin nearly to the nut. The instrument enjoyed popularity until about the late 20s, when resonator instruments like Nationals and Dobros, with their greater volume, became an instant sensation (who was eating whom for lunch then?).

Its not absolutely certain who invented the hollow-neck steel (folk dulcimers had long employed similar construction), but the two most important names are Hermann C. (not W, as stated in other accounts) Weissenborn and Chris J. Knutsen. While theres no known business association between them, some of their early instruments have significant similarities. Of these two figures, Weissenborn made the superior instruments, and Knutsen influenced his early designs. While histories of other makers are based on preserved records and uninterrupted interest in the instruments, piecing together the story of these makers represents more of an archaeological dig (or as National historian Bob Brozman puts it, "detective work through a backwards telescope").

Hermann C. Weissenborn emigrated from Germany around 1902 and was listed in New York City directories as a violin and piano maker until 1910, when he moved to Los Angeles. His early directory listings in L.A. emphasized violins and piano repair, although it appears that he expanded to steels, ukes, and guitars around 1920, as Hawaiian music gained popularity.

Weissenborn built the guitars players seek today, including deeper-body Kona instruments (made for an outside concern). Two features set his guitars apart from other period instruments: (un-scalloped) X-bracing on the tops, and tapered bodies that curve from bottom to top. Ladder-braced imitations have more parallel tops and backs.

Opinions regarding the quality of Weissenborns construction vary. Many players dismiss Weissenborns, with their visible saw marks, rough braces, and glue squeeze-out, as badly made. "Theyre not made badly," retorts David Lindley, "theyre made simply--sometimes a little bit crude, but a fantastic, superior design. They all sound good."

"Not fine-sanding the saw marks doesnt hurt the tone," says Ben Harper. "He left an edge like music needs. If you take too long with anything, it loses its effectiveness. He took the right amount of time."

Light construction is the blessing and the curse of Weissenborn guitars. It gives them their tone and volume but makes them susceptible to ravages of time, environment, and overstringing. Thats why many surviving Weissenborns need braces and bridges reglued, cracks fixed, or seams rejoined.

The net result of Weissenborns innovations and adaptations is an instrument that was ideal for the music of its era and is adaptable three generations later. "Whats cool about the Weissenborn," says Greg Leisz, "is that you can play it in a variety of different styles of music. It isnt really genre-specific as long as you give it room for the sound to come through the track."

WEISSENBORN STYLES

Most Weissenborns were made of koa (some early examples have birds-eye maple backs and sides), 39 inches long with a 25-inch scale, 15-1/4 inches across the lower bout and 10-1/4 inches across the upper bout. They were made in four styles of trim: Style 1 instruments have no body or fingerboard binding. There are three concentric wood circles inlaid around the soundhole, and single mother-of-pearl dot markers at frets five, seven, nine, 12, and 17. "Bat-wing" bridges with metal saddles were standard on all Weissenborns. Spruce tops were optional (but rare) on Styles 1 and 2. Style 2 instruments have black celluloid tops and back body binding, rope binding (termed "clown binding" by David Lindley) around the soundhole, white wood fingerboard binding, fancier fret markers in various patterns, and sometimes a first-fret triangle with its flat side resting against the nut. (Interestingly, this feature also appears on square-neck Style 3 and 4 tricone resonator guitars. Collector and luthier R.C. Allen recalls conversations he had with the late John Dopyera, inventor of the National and Dobro, in which he said that his brother, Rudy, had once worked for Hermann Weissenborn.) Style 2 fingerboards have a French curve overhanging the soundhole (the other three styles are squared off).

Style 3 Weissenborns feature rope binding around the top, fingerboard, and soundhole; usually a diamond inlay at the 12th fret; and double dots at frets five and nine. Style 4 is similar to Style 3, with added rope binding around the peghead and back, and a triangle inlay between the nut and the first fret. Some examples have sanded braces and internal wood surfaces.

Another Weissenborn shape has come to be described, mostly for lack of an official designation, as the "teardrop" model (Bob Brozman suggests "the salad spoon"). It is otherwise a Style 1 but lacks upper bouts. The result is a bizarre-looking, bottom-heavy instrument with a sound thats just the opposite. An example appeared in the Teisco Del Rey 1993 Weird Guitar Calendar. Some of the teardrops features suggest an instrument of the late 20s or early 30s; in the Depression era, these models may have been cheaper to make and sell. They have lacquer finish (which replaced shellac at about that time), a thicker headstock (with tuning posts placed closer to the nut), and a bridge thats 4-1/4 inches across its top edge. This narrower bridge is partnered with an enlarged bridge plate (to counter top sinkage in front of the bridge and bellying behind it) that begins under the cross of the X brace and tapers behind the bridge.

Although many exceptions exist, the higher-end Weissenborns tend to be constructed of the fancier, figured koa wood. Ironically, many players, including David Lindley, prefer Style 1 and 2 Weissenborns with their (generally) plainer, straighter wood, attributed to the wet side of Hawaiis Big Island. Lindleys "A-Team" Weissenborns include two Style 2s and a Style 1.

Slide guitarist Ben Harper, who says hes seen great Weissenborns with both straight and curly wood, calls a Style 4 (straight) his best and also tours with a teardrop and a Style 2. Steve Fishell, another teardrop player who used to play with Emmylou Harriss Hot Band, told Guitar Player magazine that his Style 3 was much mellower than his Style 1 (the latter can be heard on "Born to Run" from Harris Cimarron album).

In a 20s catalogue, Weissenborns four Hawaiian styles were priced at $40, $56, $67.50, and $79 respectively (1933 prices were slightly lower). Martin koa models 0-18K and 0-28K covered a similar price range--$45 to $75--from 1926 to 1933. Today, Weissenborns going rate can be 20 to 30 times original list, although their oddity and obscurity means that yard-sale bargains can occasionally be found for what grandpa paid for em new.

Some Weissenborns are even less expensive, like Jerry Douglas Style 1, which he rescued before his ex--in-laws converted it from a wall-mounted dried flower holder to a dirt-filled planter. Phoenix multi-instrumentalist Joe Bethancourts collection of esoteric axes was augmented by a fan who gave him a long-unplayed mint Style 1 in its original hard-shell case.

THE DATING GAME

The frustrating aspect of Weissenborn-ology is trying to determine numbers of instruments produced, not to mention their precise ages. Only three numbered guitars (die-stamped on the end of the headstocks, like Dobros and Nationals) have been documented, and two of these (a thin, spruce-top Style 2 and a teardrop) appear to date from opposite ends of Weissenborn evolution. Most internal pencil markings only indicate matching of tops, backs, and sides in construction (although Mandolin Brothers head repairman Flip Scipio reports a four-digit number penciled on a Style 1s X-brace). In 1923, the operation became a limited partnership called the Weissenborn Co. Ltd. The factory relocated, and ads and catalogues indicate that guitars were selling well in this heyday of Hawaiian music. Bob Brozman estimates that perhaps 80 percent of Weissenborn Hawaiians were sold before Nationals were introduced in 1927. A rough estimate of instruments produced is under 5,000, assuming a small factory but one capable of supplying retail stores like Wurlitzer as well as wholesalers like Tonk Brothers and Stadlmair. Weissenborn also made tenor and plectrum guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, and Spanish-neck guitars--12-fret, Martin 0 size, with Styles A, B, C, and D paralleling Hawaiians 1 through 4.

Relative dates can be estimated by examining the finish, the headstock, and the bridge. Eventually, perhaps some instruments with original bills of sale or provenance will make themselves known to help pinpoint actual dates. A very few instruments have a picture label of Weissenborn himself holding an early Style 2. Most Weissenborns have a 1-inch - by - 1/2-inch "shield" branded on the backstrip: H. Weissenborn, Los Angeles, Cal.

KONA AND OTHER LABELS

A few unmarked instruments are so similar in construction details that they must be Weissenborns. As was common with many manufacturers, including Martin, Weissenborn made instruments for outside customers. By far the most common of these is the Kona Hawaiian guitar, made for Los Angeles music teacher and publisher Charles S. De Lano. While most of the features (peghead, hardware, rope binding, and internal construction) point to Weissenborn manufacture, the Kona has a deeper body (4-1/4 inches) and narrower bouts (9-1/4 and 13-1/4 inches). Rather than a hollow neck, Konas have a short standard neck with a raised bone nut that joins the extended body at the seventh fret. Kona necks had actual wire frets rather than Weissenborns inlaid markers. The connection between Kona and Weissenborn guitars is also seen in a comparison of the body dimensions of their Spanish models: except for the Konas slight neck-joint extension, these two guitars have precisely the same measurements. Although they may not have been officially known by Weissenborns style designations, Konas seem to follow them, with two exceptions. The plainest Kona (often spruce-topped) has white celluloid top and fingerboard binding but is otherwise appointed like a Weissenborn Style 1. Examples of this model with features suggesting later manufacture (such as a lack of body binding) also exist. Style 3 and 4 Konas are frequently seen, but a black-bound (Style 2) Kona has yet to be reported.

Many players, including Sally Van Meter, regard the deeper Kona sound as highly as that of a Weissenborn but find the two instruments quite different. "The Weissenborn qualifies as the lonesome, soulful trip," Van Meter says, "while the Kona is the joyous sound." David Lindleys favorite Kona, a Style 3, was given to him by Jackson Browne and is seen in the video "To Know Him Is to Love Him," by the Trio (Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton), with red heart stickers on its fingerboard.

Other Kona players include John Fahey (a Style 3 can be seen on the cover of his 60s LP The Essential John Fahey, then--with changed Grover tuners--on Railroad I, from 1982); Ry Cooder, who plays an all-koa Style 1; and Ben Harper, who owns several, including a pristine Style 4 that he uses on stage and in the studio.

A few instruments of obvious Weissenborn origin have other brand markings. Madonna and Maui instruments were made for Christophes music store in San Francisco. (Christophes was in business from the teens to the 60s, so these labels provide little help in dating guitars.) One thin, early Style 2 (nabbed during a swap-meet setup at 4 a.m.) is both a dating clue and proof of the under-$100 bargain. The Mellotone label inside bears a Los Angeles address with a street name that changed around or before 1923.

KNUTSENS HAWAIIANS

Chris Knutsens fame stems from design and innovation, particularly of harp guitars (forerunner of the Dyer and Larson Brothers models), for which he received a design patent in 1898 while living in the Pacific Northwest. Arriving in Los Angeles around 1916, he made many steels (and might well have pioneered the hollow-neck design), including harp Hawaiian guitars with Weissenborn-esque bodies. These harp guitars have the conventional six strings, as well as two sub-bass strings and four treble strings with top-mounted harp tuners. They feature spruce tops and mahogany bodies or all-koa construction, and varying degrees of rope binding thats wider and flatter than Weissenborns. Knutsens grandiose ornaments and appendages contrasted with his dubious craftsmanship. Knutsens often need--or have had--extensive restoration. Historian Marc Silber dismisses Knutsen as a "bum," while luthier Rick Turner gives him higher marks for creativity than for workmanship, describing him as "a brilliant hack."

Turner owns a wonderfully bizarre (and intact) Knutsen Hawaiian that echoes a Weissenborn teardrop. The body narrows to a short headstock with six harp pegs rather than geared tuners. Its black painted finish and crescent-moon top inlay recall early Gibson instruments. Curiously, the label inside is misspelled: "C. Knudsen."

Another Knutsen creation resembles a pineapple uke mutated to guitar proportions. This guitars label pictures a variety of Knutsen models, which is as close to a Knutsen catalogue as we have. Other guitars with different names (such as Hilo and Mai Kai) but a Weissenborn appearance have come to light, but their origin is unclear. Several sources, probably too hastily, attribute these instruments to Weissenborn, but their construction--and sound--suggest otherwise. Rick Turners side-by-side examination of a Model A Hilo and several Weissenborns reveals many structural differences. "It doesnt make sense that one factory would do basic things like braces and lining two different ways," he declares. "Hilos have to be from a different manufacurer."

Sally Van Meter says her Hilos sound is "cavernous" and lacking in bottom end compared to her Weissenborn and Kona. Bob Brozman adds, "I own a Hilo and its definitely not a Weissenborn." Imitation has always been standard practice in the musical instrument world, and as David Lindley notes, "You can bet somebody left Weissenborn with a design in mind and started making their own. They decided they didnt want to work just cutting out soundholes, but wanted to make the whole thing."

ARTISTS AND TUNINGS

Weissenborns and related Hawaiian guitars can be found in the hands of a variety of contemporary musicians. Heres a rundown on the instruments, strings, and tunings used by seven prominent players. Mike Auldridge plays a Weissenborn Style 1 and strings it with D Addario phosphor bronze single gauges (a custom set, "somewhere between medium and light," with a .014 on the first string). He tunes to open E (E B E G# B E). Bob Brozmans Hawaiian instruments include all four styles of Weissenborns (his Style 2 is a Mellotone brand, with a thin body), as well as a Hilo. He tunes to C (C G C G C E), B (B F# B F# B D#), G (D G D G B D), and D sus (D A D G A D). As for string gauge, he comments, "I dont want to say what I use because it might be misused. People will tear up their guitars if they use the strings I use. Lets preserve the instruments."

Jerry Douglas plays a Weissenborn Style 1, a wall-hanger in its previous life, and tunes it to open D (D A D F# A D). He uses D Addario phosphor bronze strings with gauges of .014, .016. .026, .036, .044, and .060.

Ben Harpers road instruments are a Weissenborn Style 4, Style 2, and teardrop, and a Kona "Style 4." He uses D Addario phosphor bronze lights on instruments tuned with a D or higher on bottom and mediums for tunings with a C (or lower) on the bottom. His tunings include low G (D G D G B D) and a secret tuning that he uses in three different keys--one for each of three instruments.

Greg Leisz plays a Weissenborn Style 2, Style 1, and teardrop model with an original metal tailpiece (anyone seen another?). He uses phosphor bronze light strings and tunes to open D (D A D F# A D).

David Lindleys "A-Team" Hawaiians are two Weissenborn Style 2s, one Style 1, a thin maple and spruce Style 2, and a Kona Style 3. A Bronson Brazilian rosewood square-neck sometimes substitutes for the Kona. For strings, he uses Guild bronze lights or mediums, depending on the tuning. Instruments tuned with the sixth string lower than D have .059 Darcos ("I have a nice stash of these," he says) on the sixth string. Lindleys tunings include F (F C F A C F); G (D G D G B D); an open-G variant, G G D G B D (used on "The Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Building Blues"), with a mandocello sixth string tuned an octave below the fifth string; C6 (C G C G C A); and D6 (D A D A D B).

Sally Van Meter has a Weissenborn Style 1, a Kona Style 4, and a Hilo Model 640. She uses phosphor bronze strings with gauges of .014 ("maybe a .015 or .016 on the Weissenborn, depending on the tuning," she says), .016, .026, .036, .046, and .056. She plays in open D (D A D F# A D) but says, "My Weissenborn seems to have a preference for Eb [Eb Bb Eb G Bb Eb]." She also experiments with modal tunings and high G: G D G B D G.

For amplification and recording, almost all the players interviewed use the Sunrise soundhole pickup (Sunrise Pickup Systems, 8101 Orion Ave. #19, Van Nuys, CA 91406). Much of the Sunrises mystique follows David Lindleys sound and his declaration, "Its got magic stuff in it!" Manufacturer Jim Kaufman identifies the Sunrises "magic stuff" as its quick response, sonic imaging, pole pieces that make an audible difference when adjusted, and ability to move with the guitars top.

For microphones, Lindley and Harper favor vintage tube mikes like the AKG C-12 and M-50, while other players mention high-end Neumanns, like the U-67 and U-87. For live performances, Bob Brozman mixes a Sunrise with workhorse Shure SM-57 mikes "because thats what everybody has, so I adapt."

Reprinted from Acoustic Guitar Magazine April 1996.

DETAILS ABOUT THE FOUR DIFFERENT STYLES OF THE WEISSENBORN GUITAR.
--- (Thanks to noted author & historian George T. Noe.) ---

"Weissenborns built from 1913 to 1916 have no brands or markings, except for a few that were marketed under department store private labels. From 1916 though 1921, Hermann Weissenborns picture label in appeared in the guitars. The Weissenborn Co. Ltd. factory opened in January 1922, using the burned-brand (like the one in your guitar). Factory guitars were built in 4 styles: 1--no trim, 3 sound hole rings; 2--black binding; 3--rope binding top only; 4--rope binding top and bottom. The factory guitars from 1922-1926 are lightly braced and have a bridge that is 6-3/4 inches from point to point. The factory guitars from 1927-1937 are heavily braced and have bridges that are 5-1/2 inches point to point. The shorter bridges are a spotting feature for me.
From my standpoint, the 1922-1926 factory guitars sound better than the 1927-1937 because they vibrate more, giving that long sustain and ethereal Weissenborn sound. The post 1927 guitars were modified to compete against other instruments in a band setting, and so they are louder but the vibration damps out pretty quick."



And this is a very nice timeline about Weissenborn which we found at the Unoffical Martin Guitars Forum:

Timeline:
• 1909 | Seattle hosts A-Y-P Exposition featuring Hawaii Building selling Koa wood
• 1909 | Luthier Chris Knutsen builds Hawaiian guitar with Koa wood
• 1909 - 1912 | Joseph Kekuku, Hawaiian guitarist, lives in Seattle
• 1912 | Teacher/Retailer CS De Lano travels to Seattle to learn Hawaiian guitar from Kekuku
• 1914 | Knutsen joins De Lano in Los Angeles, Hawaiian virus spreads south
• 1914 | First contact between Knutsen and Weissenborn? Sharing of ideas
• 1914 | Weissenborn personally hand builds limited numbers of Hawaiian guitars (15-20/year?), some maple/spruce
• 1915 February | PPIE starts in San Francisco. Hawaiian revolution
• 1915 | Weissenborn shop moves to 331 E 12th St, Los Angeles
• 1915 | Solidneck Hawaiian production begins
• 1915 Oct 2 | Weissenborn marries garment worker Concepciσn Ybarra
• 1915 late | Weissenborn starts putting paper labels in his instruments, the famous "Picture Label"
• 1916 | Factory production begins, Weissenborn still personally builds small numbers of the rarer instruments (ie Solidneck, Spanish body, Ukuelele, Mandolin)
• 1916 - 1920 | Factory Kona production for CS De Lano, many Style 3 & Style 4 made
• 1916 Southern California Music Co. of LA orders small parlor guitars from Martin (SoCal 1400/0-18K) to compete with De Lano
• 1916 | Weissenborn starts building Spanish body style guitars in response? (speculative)
• 1919 June | Treaty of Versailles, World War I formally ends
• ca. 1920 | Full-depth Hollowneck Hawaiian "Style 1" with Italian Madonna label
• ca. early 1920s | Hawaiian Styles 1, 2, 3, 4 now defined and consistent, Weissenborns name appears on guitars
• 1921 | Production increasing
• 1921 July | Hermann sends for son in Germany to join him, looks for larger shop
• 1921 late | Move production to 1196 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles
• 1922 | Photograph taken of Concepciσn playing solidneck "Style 3" with neighbor & company bookkeeper August Mayer playing picture label Style 2
• 1922-3 | Factory setting for guitar production (unsure of timing)
• 1922-3 | Picture label phased out, replaced by burned in brand
• 1924 Aug 1 | Stadlmair contract starts
• ca. 1925 | Kona label re-registered & redesigned to "scrolls and leaves" style
• 1926 | Bridge pin arrangement changes to shallow V
• 1926 | The competition introduces the resonator guitar that would ultimately doom the Weissenborn Co.
• 1926 July | Son and shop foreman Hermann Friedrich dies unexpectedly
• 1926 | Rudolph Dopyera (of Dobro fame) replaces him as shop "foreman"
• 1926 and after | Dopyeras influence leads to changes in search of more volume: smaller bridge, heavier bracing, larger bridge plate, heavier strings
• 1927 | Bridge size decreases by 25%
• 1927 July 31 | Stadlmair contract ends
• 1927 | Tonk Brothers contract starts - download catalog Pg. 110 & Page 111
• 1929 Oct | Stock market crash
• 1937 Jan 7 | Hermann worked his last day
• 1937 Jan 30 | Weissenborn dies of heart failure, at the age of 73

Weissenborn Partners, Distributors, and Resellers:
• C.S. De Lano - Kona guitars for Hawaiian instructor
• Cristophes - San Francisco department store, sold Italian Madonna & Maui instruments
• Henry Stadlmair Co Inc New York - "Sole Eastern Distributors" branded inside guitars
• Tonk Brothers - Chicago distributor of musical instruments, featured Weissenborns in catalog
• Melloton - L.A address, thinbody w/Style 2 features, no later than c.1923
• Platt Music Co. - Style 4, L.A address)
• Wurlitzer - Style 4 from guitarist/collector G.E Smiths collection in GP magazine

Weissenborn Aliases (instruments with these brands may be built by him):
• Kona Hawaiian
• Italian Madonna - Cristophes Department Store, San Francisco "U.S. Distributors" 1915 - 1921. Less than 10 known.
• Maui - Cristophes Department Store, San Francisco "U.S. Distributors" 1922 and later. Maui Style 4 = Weiss Style 1. Maui Style 6 = Weiss Style 4.
• Miami - Stadlmair owned trademark, some (but not all) built by Weissenborn, verify by construction

Weissenborn Shop Locations:
• 1910 | 215 S. Olive St, Los Angeles "Weissenborn & Pulpaneck, Violin Makers"
• 1911 | 527 E. 12th St, Los Angeles "Piano repair & mandolins" 1135 square foot shop
• late 1916 | 331 E 12th St, Los Angeles 2700 square foot shop
• late 1921 | 1196 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles 5000 square foot shop
• 1935 | 2434 S Hoover St, Los Angeles
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