††† Silvertone - Japan Made Models

††††† (Written by Jimmy Noise / June 2012)

 

Silvertone was a brand developed by Sears Roebuck Company in the early 30ís.The Silvertone brand replaced the Supertone brand on musical instruments sold by Sears. The brand was used on guitars sold by Sears; however Silvertone never actually made guitars. All the manufacturing was outsourced to various guitar suppliers. These included US manufactures and US importers. To date there has been no information that confirms that the Silvertone directly imported directly from guitar manufactures in Japan. By Sears having its own brand, it was able to market its guitars as an exclusive Sear Roebuck product. The brand was discontinued in 1972. It is not clear why it ceased, but Sears Roebuck continued to sell guitars into the 70ís, but not branded as Silvertone.

 

This sight will focus on electric guitars made in Japan and supplied to Silvertone.

 

 

Silvertone Logos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were two logos used on Silvertone guitars. The first one being the word Silvertone painted on the headstock in a thin line. The paint had no clear coat over it and often has rubbed off over the years. Great care should be taken when cleaning these guitars as to not remove the logo.The logo was the same design as used on other Silvertone models made in the US. This logo was used on Teisco built Silvertone guitars manufactured up to the end of 1965.

 

 

 

Guitars manufactured after 1965 got a newly designed logo. Itís unknown who designed the new logo, but the new logo was only used on the Teisco imported guitars by WMI.

 

 

Around 1969 imported guitars sold by Sears began to have the new a round silver disc. This marked the end of the Silvertone brand on Searsís guitars. These guitars were supplied by various manufactures in Japan. The guitars generally had a sticker on the neck plate or the model number was stamped into the neck plate. These practices fell in line with Kawai built guitars, not Teisco. But some Teiscoís did have this logo.

 

 

 

 

 

Models Supplied by Westheimer Sales Co.

 

Westheimer Sales was probably the first importer to supply import guitars to Silvertone. Itís assumed that a lot of these would have been acoustic guitars. However they may have supplied some of the early built Teiscos as well. It is unclear what actually happened because around the same time Teisco was in the process of changing distributors in the US.

 

 

Models Supplied by WMI CorporationĖ (Teisco)

 

WMI Corporation became the exclusive importer of Teisco built guitars in 1965. They supplied Teisco guitars to Silvertone during the mid 1960ís. The models supplied were either similar or exact models that were sold under the Teisco brand. The modifications were often slight, but enough to be able to identify a guitar as being either a Silvertone or a Teisco branded guitar.

 

 

The models shown below were built by Teisco and supplied to Silvertone by WMI Corporation. By clicking on the model number, additional information is available.

 

Model 1418

Model 1424

Model 1435

Model 1436

Model 1437

Model 1438

Catalogue No:57 P 1418 L

Catalogue No:57 P 1424 N

Catalogue No:________

Catalogue No:________

Catalogue No:_______

Catalogue No:_____

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model 1487

Model 1495

Model No: 759-1435-1

Model No: 759-1436-1

Model No: 759-14371

 

Catalogue No:________

Catalogue No:57 G 1495L

Catalogue No: ________

Catalogue No: ________

Catalogue No:________

 

 

If you if have a guitar that you think is a Teisco built Silvertone guitar and it is missing its logo, there are a few things that you can check to determine if this is your model;

 

            Firstly check the model tag. If it has a model number that matches any of the above, then it is a Silvertone guitar.

            The second way to tell is look at the logo area and check the shape of any remaining glue residue in the shape of the logo.

            Check the nail holes of the logo. Sometimes the logo was nailed on. If the nail holes match the locations shown on the Silvertone logo, then it is a Silvertone.

            The sharkfin guitars always had striped guards and the hex pickup adjustment screws.

            The 1436 and 1437 have the white cover in front of the tailpiece and came with the black tip tremolo bar.

 

 

Tone Controls: The tone dial works differently to modern and vintage US guitars. The tone knob works backwards. This is based on filtering of the high frequency. ie Zero being no filtering and ten being full filtering. The US guitars work on frequency. Ie Zero is low frequencies. (Highs filtered) and 10 being treble (No filtering). A common fault occurs when some people pick up these guitars and turn everything to 10. Due to the tone knob being the opposite way, the guitar sounds rather muddy and then is passed off as a cheep guitar. Moral of the story is to play around with the switches and knobs to discover the full sound potential of theses guitars.

 

 

Other Imported Models by Unknown Suppliers

 

There were other imported models that werenít built by Teisco.It is unclear if WMI supplied these non-built Teiscos to Silvertone, or if these were supplied by another importer.

 

Itís not confirmed, but Westheimer Sales may have sold guitars to Sear in the late 60ís & 70ís that were supplied by the Kawai guitar company. These guitars are often mistaken as Teiscoís however they are not made by Teisco, even tho Kawai had bought Teisco in 1967.

 

 

(Picture not available)

(Picture not available)

Model No: 319-14459

Model No: 26133

Model No: 319-14059

Model No: 319-14560100

Model No: _______

Model No: _______

Catalogue No:________

Catalogue No:________

Catalogue No:57 N 1405L

Catalogue No:57 N 1455L

Catalogue No:57 N 1460L

Catalogue No: 57 C 1440112

 

 

Catalogues

 

Because Silvertone was the exclusive brand of Sears Roebuck, the guitars only appears in the Sears Catalogues.

 

         Sears Catalogue Links

 

Unfortunately there is only a limited number of catalogues available to post on this site. If some more become available, we will post them in the future.

 

 

Links

 

For more information on Silverstoneís we recommend the Silvertone World web page. It seems to have the most accurate information available. It covers both US and Japanese made guitars.

 

 

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Return to Made In Japan 1960ís Guitars Main Page

 

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(Last Revised: 25th of June 2012.)

 

© 2012 MAI Music Publications