Irving Ashby's Stromberg Guitar

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Description (Brief)
This guitar was made by Charles A. Stromberg and Son of Boston, Massachusetts around 1939-1941. Responding to requests from jazz guitarist for an instrument that could cut through and be heard over the horn section of jazz bands, Elmer Stromberg developed his giant, 19-inch wide Master 400 model. It is one of the loudest acoustic guitars ever made. Elmer Stromberg made about 600 guitars with his father, Charles, a Swedish immigrant.
Charles and Elmer Stromberg’s shop was a popular hang-out for local guitarists who would break in new instruments before they were sold to customers. One such local was Irving Ashby, a Boston native who went on to play with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and the Nat King Cole Trio. This six course (6x1) guitar, Master 400 model, and serial #507, was custom made for American jazz guitarist, Irving Ashby (1920-1987).
Currently not on view
date made
Ashby, Irving
Charles A. Stromberg and Son
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
overall: 43 1/4 in x 19 in x 4 1/2 in; 109.855 cm x 48.26 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Pauline Randolph Ashby
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History