Slingerland Songster Electric Guitar

Description (Brief)
This electric guitar was made by the Slingerland Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois, around 1936–39. It pre-dates the experimental "log" guitar of Les Paul from 1940 and is possibly the earliest commercially marketed solid body, Spanish neck electric guitar. Slingerland ceased making electric instruments in 1940, changing exclusively to production of percussion instruments. This electric guitar is a Songster Spanish style and serial #114. In a late 1930s Slingerland catalog, this electric guitar, case and amplifier sold for $150.00
Currently not on view
Date made
Slingerland Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company
Place Made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 93 cm x 30 cm x 5 cm; 36 5/8 in x 11 13/16 in x 1 31/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert J. Kent
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Artifact Walls exhibit
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"I have one of these Slingerland Songster guitars. It was owned by my grandfather and I remember him playing it back in the 1960's and 70's. He played it lap style and was very good.. I can't remember any of the songs but I do recall they were all played very fast and melodically, maybe in an old country or roots style. "
"Hi Gary,Thank you so much for sharing the memory of your grandfather's music. These guitars were embraced by many Americans when they were first built, but it is really neat to hear how your grandfather played a Slingerland into '60s and ?70s. It sounds like your Slingerland is a family treasure! We are proud to feature one in our collections."

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