Pipe Organ Guitar - Primordial Goth Rock

I found this little news item in the back of Popular Mechanics (1960) for a "pipe-organ guitar". I NEEEEED to hear what it sounded like, but for the first time ever, the internet failed to have something.

"Arranged in assorted sizes, like a church organ, the pipes produce a distinct, resonant tone..." The idea is interesting, but a pipe organ uses at least one individual pipe for each note on the keyboard. Different combinations of pipes are used to create tambres (kinds of sounds), so the same note can potentially use lots of pipes, depending on whether you're using the piccolo sound or the trumpet sound.

This guitar only has six "pipes", presumably one for each string. However, each string is used to create many different notes depending on where the musician puts his/her fingers on the fretboard. So, I'm having trouble imagining how the pipes would work with every possible pitch. Maybe I'm being too literal-minded about it. Maybe each pipe is tuned to respond to a specific range of notes, covering all the possible notes created by the instrument?

The only guitar manufacturer I could find in Bavaria was Framus. They were active from the early sixites (ding!) through 1975. No mention of this weirdo guitar though. Vox made what they call the "V251 Guitar Organ", and it existed in 1960, but it was an electric model. Boo.

Here's the Framus logo, and a closeup of the headstock of the pipe-organ guitar. I'm not sure if it's a match or not. For one thing, it looks like it's italicized the wrong direction, slanting to the left instead of right. It's possible that Pop Mech flipped the picture for more convenient page layout, but back in '60, that wasn't effortless like it is now. It would have required some photographic processing, and probably wasn't worth the trouble for this little blurb in the back of the magazine. Also, the guitars in the shop behind him are normal right-handed guitars. Nothing funny back there. So, no flip.

Any guitar people who have some insight into this are welcome to leave comments. Maybe there's a video out there of the pipe-organ guitar in action? Does anybody know of another guitar company from Bavaria owned by a very tall hobbit (look at him!)?

Oh, also, if you look at the ad, apparently there was trouble with invisible horses for some reason. Whatever.


Black said...

I have been enjoying looking through your very interesting blog. I think I can help with the guitar! It's an Arnold Hoyer "Fantastic" model(http://jazzgitarren.k-server.org/hoyer.html for some more pics).

Thanks for the pictures and the fun!

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