Slingerland/May Bell Stringed Instruments
I am currently searching for information about instruments produced by the Slingerland Musical Instrument Company of Chicago, IL. I have hopes to collect enough information to be able to put together a book that will give an accurate picture of the production of their stringed instrument line. There currently exists very little information about this.
Specifically, I'm interested in the Slingerland line of guitars, mandolins, and lap steels (Songster and Nite Hawk models). Also, Marvel and May Bell guitars (many models) and lap steels. Other instruments may have been made as well -- they started out as a ukulele company, but the only ukuleles that I have ever seen were all May Bell banjo ukuleles, but I know that they produced wooden models as well.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not looking for information about banjos or drums -- these have both been documented already, the banjos somewhat, the drums in great detail by Rob Cook.
I am interested in any and all information that may be available. It is unlikely that very many of the people who worked at Slingerland in the 20's and 30's are still alive, but their relatives might have information that was handed down to them. Such things as descriptions of the instruments made, descriptions of work in the factory, whether or not they were made in-house or made by Harmony and Regal and shipped to the Slingerland factory for assembly and finishing; how many instruments were produced, pictures of the factory, pictures of instruments, pictures of people with the instruments, etc.
I am also a collector of these instruments and would be interested to know if there are other collectors as well. On the website listed below, I have a "wanted" and "for sale" section, as well as an area where I will be glad to post pictures of various instruments that people have.
I am willing to travel if necessary to conduct interviews, view/copy pictures, photograph instruments, purchase instruments, etc. I am located 60 miles West of Chicago, IL in DeKalb, IL.
Thank you in advance for any assistance that you can give! Dave "DK" Kolars