Dating silvertone archtop guitars
I believe the "F'" and "S" may have stood for first and second half of the year." Photo below : this H22 bass is from 1964 Photo below : this flat top guitar is from 1957.
There is some variation in theses date stamps, (in an oval box on some pre-war models), but usually all guitars had one. Date from pickups On electric guitars with "De Armond" pickups, you should be able to find a precise date stamped on the back of the pickups, or on the back of the pickguard (some screws to remove).
In the Harmony world, the interested buyer is often rarer than the guitar itself.
- Usually you will find two stamps inside your Harmony guitar.
Ebay auction site is the main provider for rare parts, but you need to monitor the offers each day... You can check "tom69442" for repro pickguards, and "Harmony12X5" for some parts.
For generic guitar parts and tools, well-known web sites include Stewmac and Allparts.
As a result, only a handful of guys in the world are ready to pay real money for a rare Harmony model.An exception to those rules is the late H68 "Artist", built from acoustic H1310 bodies, all solid.Photos below : solid wood on an acoustic H1311, laminated on an electric H58 - No known professional is specialized in Harmony parts only.Either they re-used a back prepared for the previous batch, two years before on the line, or they mistakenly used a 1961 stamp in 1963.
It looks like Harmony serial and date stamps were meant to manage the different parts and instruments on the production line, not to be used as reference by collectors 50 years later... - My brother has a Harmony Meteor in great shape but the the serial number is 84H8448. Do you think someone added the Meteor Label on the Headstock? - These stamped numbers inside Harmony made guitars were not intended as real serial numbers.Ok, there is some rare exceptions to this rule, for some very late models produced a couple of years before the close of the factory in 1976.