Steel Trappings

Geri's Vintage Steels

Early 1930's Rickenbacher Amplifier

April 1, 2021 • Geronimo "Geri" ValdrizInstruments and Luthiers

From the very beginning, Rickenbacher developed and sold guitar amplifiers. After all, the first electric lap steel guitar worked only in conjunction with them. Their early pioneering work has gone largely unnoticed!

The first Rickenbacher production-model amplifier was designed by C.W. Lane and built by the Van Nest Radio Shop in Los Angeles.

Early 1930's Rickenbacher Amplifier

The wooden cabinet of the amp was made by the Johnson Cabinet Works. It is built of plywood and covered with Keratol, a protective covering.

Early 1930's Rickenbacher Amplifier

Early 1930's Rickenbacher Amplifier

Early 1930's Rickenbacher Amplifier

In 1935 the Rickenbacher Frying Pan steel guitar and amplifier set sold for $125.00, a huge amount in post-Depression years. Also, many rural areas and urban households did not yet have electricity to plug an amp in!

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