The First National Guitar

March 1, 2009

The first few guitars had this unique body shape with fewer cross slats, and featured diamond-shaped holes. Soon after it was built, this guitar’s square metal neck was refitted with an African mahogany neck for Orpheum vaudeville artist Waltimor Shablowski. Once National tooled up for Spanish models, Shablowski exchanged his prototype for a production version. Dopyera supervised apprentice David Flood during the restoration of this historic instrument— which gave rise to the popular National and Dobro guitars—and Flood presented it, along with its inventor, at the 1980 Los Angeles Vintage Guitar show.

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