History – Selmer Factory (2/3)

    History – Selmer Factory (2/3) – Before the days in 1932 when the Selmer-company started to build guitars in cooperation with Mario Macafferri, in 1922 already around 50 instrument makers are employed at the Selmer company, producing around 30 Instruments per Month. But the musical development of these days is growing rapidly, so the Selmer-company is growing with these challenges at the same speed.

    Catalogue of Selmer company

    From 1932 the Selmer-company extends their programme once more (see images above, Catalogue from 1936 (left) and 1954 (right). They start the production of guitars in co-operation with the luthier Mario Macafferri (see our article-series on Selmer-Guitars).

    Already in 1931 Macafferri had, beeing asked by many guitarrists of that time, an idea how to amplify the sound of guitars and starts to build his first prototypes of the modell “Hawaiian”, which later will be changed to model “Orchestre” including a cutaway for playing the higher registers.

    The guitarrists of this time, unlike today, always had the problem “not to be heared” as there were no pickups nor amplificators available yet to amplify their guitars. Though they could never step upfront in volume with their pure acoustically played guitars in the Jazzbands of that time, which were dominated by wind-instruments like clarinetts, trumpets or saxophones.

    History - Selmer Factory (2/3)

    As one of the first known jazz-musicians in France it was Django Reinhardt who used these newly invented acoustic jazzguitars by Selmer (image left, Django in 1932 looking at his first Selmer-/Macafferri-guitar).

    And it was Django who made these guitars become nearly immortal fame in the following decades by his unique and absolutely inimitable sound and his unbelievable virtuosity.

    In 1933 Henri Selmer finally took up his chance and started a big marketing-campagne with this outstanding musician as well as the fellows at his band “Quintette du Hot Club de France” equipping all musicians with his new Selmer-Guitars.

    History - Selmer Factory (2/3)

    So it was around 1933 when Henri Selmer sets up a marketing-contract with the musicians (today this would be called an “Endorsement”-contract) which committed the musicians to solely play Selmer-instruments at their gigs.

    History - Selmer Factory (2/3)

    In return all musicians received their guitars for free from Selmer.
    Later on they even produced some personalized instruments for Django Reinhardt with his name engraved at the headplate of the guitars (image left).

    Sometimes those personalized instruments were beeing sold decades later. And even sometimes today you´ll find Selmer-Guitars beeing sold with the engravings of his name “Django Reinhardt” or “Modele Django Reinhardt” on their headplate.

    Read more -> Selmer – History (3/3)

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