Tiki King's Ukulele Database:
RichterThere are two "Richter" Ukuleles that I have been made aware of.
First were the Fred Richter Ukuleles made by Regal. Fred Richter was an artist. During the 40's He bought Ukes from the Regal company and then painted and decorated them with original art as well as Decals and stencils.
Next is "Richter Mfg. Co"
The Richter Mfg. Co. was formed sometime before 1920 and was producing guitars and other stringed instruments from 1923 and possibly earlier. It was founded by Charles Richter and at his death in 1920 was run by his son Carl. Their factory was located at 2532 Irving Park Boulevard, Chicago.
Their initial success in the 1920's was with the "Sweetheart" brand of Ukulele. The 1930’s seemed to be busy years for the Richter company, selling through they own brand and through distributors. They also had an arrangement with Montgomery Ward, who sold Richter guitars through the mail order system. I could not find the reason however Richter ceased trading in 1943 or 1944.
Most of their guitars are of medium quality all birch body instruments with a rounded chunky, yet comfortable neck. A lot of, but not all, Richter branded guitars have the distinctive "gumby" style headstock with the small paper "Richter" label in a script font on the front of the headstock and "RICHTER MFG. CO. CHICAGO, ILL." impressed into the wood on the back. They also usually have the word "RICHTER" stamped in ink onto a thin piece of wood that is glued (sometimes haphazardly) to the heel plate on the inside of the guitar. On this heel plate can also be stamped the manufacture date or a serial number. Guitars that carry a distributors brand such as B & J Serenader still have this stamp inside the guitar.
Richter made some cowboy stencil guitars that were sold by Montgomery Ward, "The Plainsman" from 1938-1941, "Home on the Range" from 1938-1939, "Red Foley" in 1940 and "Corral/Rodeo Scene", also in 1940. Richter also made two Hawaiian stencil guitars that I know of.
Thanks to Mark Schmid for sending me the info about "Richter Mfg. Co"
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