Dobro Guitar

Description (Brief)
This resonator guitar was made by Dobro in Los Angeles, California around 1933-1937. The name originated in 1928 when the Dopyera brothers formed the Dobro Manufacturing Company. "Dobro" is both a contraction of "Dopyera brothers" and a word meaning "goodness" in their native Slovak. John Dopyera was granted a patent (U.S. Patent #1,896,484, February 7, 1933) for a musical instrument with a conical metal resonator. This six course (6x1) guitar has a squared-off neck with raised strings for Hawaiian-style playing.
Frederick John Wright (1926-1985) was a classic amateur country music performer. He was born in Detroit, Michigan and a year later, his family moved to Toronto, Canada. In 1938, a door to door salesman offered a Dobro guitar with lessons for $5.00 per week, for thirteen weeks. Fred played this guitar and with his father entertained veterans in hospitals in the Toronto area. In 1947, Fred returned to the United States with his treasured guitar.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
overall: 39 in x 14 1/2 in x 5 in; 99.06 cm x 36.83 cm x 12.7 cm
place made
United States: California, Los Angeles
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.