Today, Lawman Guitars is Presenting...

A really cool, Well Playing 1930’s Kay built Arch Kraft Archtop Guitar in Sunburst ...... It has tons of player vibe, looks, and sound ...the guitar has excellent action and plays just great. One of the best Kay built necks I have found on one of these Archtops.......

This guitar has no date stamp.. our research has only found that these were made by Kay in the 1930’s. The Vintage Tuners it has on it as well as the Bak-A-Lite Pickguard would bear that out. The original Kluson open back tuners still sport all of the original bakalite tuner buttons. They are still operable but will eventually have to be replaced. These have lasted longer than most. The guitar still has the original nut, bridge, frets, and even the original Arch Kraft Branded Pickguard. Those are always missing! What a time capsule.

Here is some history on Kay, makers of the Arch Kraft Guitars…

In 1928, Henry ‘Kay’ Kuhrmeyer and his financial backers Stromberg and Voisinet were responsible for what was perhaps the first commercially available electric guitar, the Stromberg Electro. Of course, electric guitars already existed by this point, but Kuhrmeyer found a way to mass-produce and market them on a level that had never been seen before.

Soon after, in 1931, Kuhrmeyer bought out his financial partners and founded the Kay Musical Instrument Company in Chicago. By 1935, the company had built a new factory in the city and was producing 100,000 instruments per year, including mandolins, lap steels and banjos.

The Kay Company sold these instruments under various brand names, such as Groeschel, Stromberg, Kay Kraft, Kay, Kaywood, Lark, Kamico, Arch and Arch Kraft. Kay Guitars would also work with other companies and distributors, who would often order custom guitars adorned with their own branding.

Naturally, this caused confusion. Kay-made guitars – as well as those built by local rivals Harmony – were marketed under many names, depending on the catalogue they were sold out of: Silvertone, sold by Sears; Truetone, sold out of Western Auto; Custom Kraft, the house brand for the St Louis Supply Company; department store JCPenney’s Penncrest line; Airline, originally marketed and sold by Montgomery Ward; Old Kraftsman, the Spiegel catalogue brand; and Rex parlor guitars, sold by Gretsch.

For the most part, these were standard blue-collar guitars. By 1938, more than 60 per cent of Kay’s finished instruments were being sold outside Chicago by these distributors.


We did a complete neck reset on this ole timer. It was unplayable when we got it. These guitars didn’t have truss rods yet and the neck had pulled up to a very bad angle. Out Tech did a fabulous job reset it to give this guitar one of the best archtop playing necks we have had in a long time. We stabilized two back cracks. The guitar was surprisingly,somewhat crack free but for the two back cracks!

This guitar is all original...the guitar is in great shape as is the pickguard and tuners..those are usually pretty beatup on these ... all original and in great shape. I was happy no strap button was added. These were headstock strap guitars. I like them to stay that way.. Only superficial dings here and there. This guitar is in fabulous shape!

This Arch Kraft guitar has a long 26 inch scale neck and the nut measures 1 7/8 inches. Nice medium V Shaped Profile on the neck. Not a baseball bat neck at all. Very pleasant to play. Big Hands will especially like it.. Its an auditorium size guitar which has a 15 inch wide lower bout and is 41 total inches in length.

There is nothing that detracts from the big booming sound of this cool guitar...It has really great low action and it sounds wonderful....If you have never heard one of are in for a treat...They sound great!!..You will not want to put his one down when you get it..its a blast to play......I have enjoyed playing it and know it will be a treasured guitar to whoever is lucky enough to get this guitar...

The shown Soft Shell Case has been around but all latches, hinges and original handle are still with it.. We patched a couple areas..its holding together well for its age..Its a really nice home for your vintage guitar.

Cool guitar but vintage so its sold as is no returns. Thanks for respecting that.

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Thanks a lot! Lawman Mike at Lawman Guitars


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Listed10 months ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
  • Auditorium Archtop
  • Sunburst
  • 1935
Made In
  • United States

Lawman Guitars

West Des Moines, IA, United States
Joined Reverb:2013

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