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Old 03-23-2018, 10:43 PM
niceties55 niceties55 is offline
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Default Vintage Harmony H35 (Batwing) Mandolin Thrift Store Find

Just got this sweet Vintage Harmony H35 (Batwing) Mandolin at a thrift store and I was wondering if you had any information on this.

I brought it into my local guitar shop and the tech said that it is weird because there are holes for a pickup (which I know they had models with one) but there are no screw holes where the pickup mounting ring screws in, also on the headstock there is no truss rod cover screw holes.

There is a number inside the F-Hole and it is 5725H35.

There is no other number anywhere in this unit as I have checked, even under the neck.

Do you have any information on this neat mandolin? Especially what year it is? Thanks!!




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Old 03-24-2018, 10:27 AM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Try mandolincafe dot com, they have a whole forum dedicated to identifying obscure mandolins.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:49 PM
PHJim PHJim is offline
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Location: Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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My friend Jimmy Bowskill left his batwing here for a week or so. His is the regular electric like the one Yank played. I had a lot of fun with it. Here it is on my couch.

One of my students had an acoustic batwing as well.

Here's Jimmy playing with his old high school teacher and now buddy, Dan Fewings.

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Old 04-06-2018, 02:22 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Here's mine, all original acoustic version. Your's was definitely electric at some time in the past. I have had this instrument longer than any other I own, probably got it about '87. If I recall, the electrics came with Dearmond pickup. By the "Harmony" name on the pickguard, your's would be one of the later models.

They are actually pretty good mandolins in their own way. The sound is more "dark honk" than "ringing chop" but they play well and I like having a differently voiced mandolin. They have a mini-cult following. Used by Yank Rachell but their high point was their appearance in Led Zeppelin concerts.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:08 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Location: Chugiak, Alaska
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Niceties, when the original Harmony factory in Chicago went out of business in the early 1970's they sold off their remaining inventory of halfway finished instruments at nickel on the dollar prices. There was a local guy in Kansas City that I knew named Truman Haddox who had a little musical school and instrument repair shop in an old WWII-vintage barracks building that was located on the grounds of the world headquarters of Campus Crusade For Christ, which at that time was on Rainbow Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Truman's true joy in life was getting junk instruments for dirt cheap, fixing them up so they'd be marginally functional, then turning around and selling them to people at the church who'd get them for their children to learn on. Truman went to that sale at Harmony and brought back all sorts of mostly-finished instruments so he could complete what needed to be done and sell them to his client base.

Anyway, one of the instruments he had there was a Harmony electric mandolin that was complete except for its pickup and all the other hardware. I think he sold it to me for $25 or so, and then I bought a bridge, tuners and tailpiece and strung it up and used it as my first mandolin. I didn't bother trying to find a pickup for it.

Once I got it strung up, it was playable, which is about as much as you could say about it. All laminated woods, not much tone or projection but it did have a nice sunburst on it.

Yours is a little different, but I suspect it might have originated in that same sell-off at Harmony where Truman picked up the mandolin he sold me.

Hope this helps.

Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:02 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I do believe that that was the model that Yank Rachel always played.

Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:01 PM
svea svea is offline
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Location: California
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I read somewhere about the serial numbers on these, and I suspect it is a 1972. It would be cool to try and electrify that thing!

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