Lately I've become interested in the instrument itself. Stradavari and other violin makers of that time made violins with shorter, flatter necks than those we see now. They did this, in part, by making the violin's bridge higher, putting the strings at more tension, with more of the vibration transmitted down to the body. So the old style violins were refitted with modern style necks. The date generally given for when most of the instruments had been converted over is 1800. when a ball struck my left thye about an inch below my hip joint...
to create and sell aluminum mandolins, violins, cellos, banjos, guitars and zithers.
Merrill’s mandolins fall into the hybrid category with a traditional spruce top and wooden neck fitted to an aluminum bowlback mandolin body.
I contacted most of the big name vintage guitar dealers around the country and none of them had ever heard of Merrill; a couple gave me quite a lot of attitude about them never existing.
A few months later, a private collector sent me the photos on the left of Merrill’s aluminum guitar and banjo, both in good working order.
By the time the plant closed that November, Al Co A had made and delivered a total of approximately 500 basses.