1930s Prairie State

by George Gruhn

Larson Brothers

Although Carl and August Larson were obscure guitar makers from the first half of the 20th century, they made guitars with a distinct sound and look.

The Chicago-based Larsons regularly built jumbo-size models, but with a whopping 21 inches across the lower bout, this late 1930s Prairie State guitar is an extreme example, even for them. The Larsons braced their tops with a slight arch, but this is still considered a flattop guitar, despite its elevated pickguard and archtop-style bridge. This guitar is braced for steel strings, as are all Larsons, with their patented laminated braces; they were the first flattop maker to specialize in steel-string guitars, predating Martin and Gibson by more than 20 years.

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar, May 2010

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