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Old 03-14-2005, 08:29 AM
rgregg48 rgregg48 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
Posts: 3,271
Default Its a long story, but i was there!

Ok, you want history, ill give you history.

In the late 50s, early 60s In Chicago, there was a violin shop
owned by two German immigrants,, Eric Prager and Wolfgang Ritter.
They delt in sales and restoration of Violins...
At the beginning of the great folk music boom (or folk scare, take your pick)
around the time the Kingston trio became popular etc, generating a big
increase in guitar sales,,, the two German violin entrepeneurs opened most
of their floor space for guitars,, keeping the violin business in a small but
guarded area.... it was renamed "The Chicago Guitar Gallery".
The place was really something,,, if you wanted to try one of the
Martins, Gibsons, Ramirez or any high end guitar you were greeted
by Eric Prager who would ask "you got money?" if you said no,
he would respond,, "you bring money" than you try guitar"
(he was really a nice man, but in business, he made Ed Roman
look like Mahatma Gandi)

They hired a young German Violin builder to become their repair man
since he knew something about fretted instruments
his name was Rudy Schlacher...
Rudy worked for Prager and Ritter for a few years, building a few
guitars and being the main repairman (for you luthier history buffs, this was about the same time Bozo Podunivac opened his first shop in downtown Chicago...)

Rudy Schlacher saw the potential in guitar sales,, left Prager and Ritter
and opened his own retail shop, called the Sound Post, in Evanston ILL.

Eventually Rudy Decided retail music would make a liveing,, but
wholesale music might provide a fortune.
thus Rudy started importing guitars, first reproducing his own designs,
than copying others.

Looking for a marketing hook,,, Rudy knew the name Washburn was attached to a company whose products were now vintage, sought after, and unlike
C.F. Martin, were no longer available......

Any rights to the name "Washburn" were long expired, and no one had
attempted to copyright or reuse the name.

Thus Rudy took the name Washburn for his line of imported guitars.
Washburn was so successful, Rudy sold the retail store and concentrated
entirely on his wholesale company ,, Washburn.

End of story (at least what i know of it)


Last edited by rgregg48; 03-14-2005 at 07:49 PM.
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