When his father died in 1892 the young 26 year old Harry (H. W. Weymann) energetically expanded the business.
In 1899 the S.S. Stewart Banjo factory in Philadelphia closed following the death of the company’s founder the previous year. There is conjecture Harry Weymann took advantage and purchased some of the materials and equipment from this factory and hired retrenched Stewart workers to greatly expand his manufacturing.
(Updated 1 Feb 2019: With the addition of new information the serial number dating for Weymann instruments has now been revised. See the new dating table below:
(Update 10 May 2019: I came across this photo of a mandolin that was on a website by Tommy’s Guitars in Chicago:
I contacted Tommy’s Guitars and they tried to find the original photo but the sale was some time ago and they could not find a better quality photo. But they do know that the documentation was dated 1899.
If I could find the now owner of this mandolin it could answer some questions about when H.A. Weymann and Son started serializing instruments, which at present those early years are a bit of a mystery. So if you bought this mandolin from Tommy’s Guitars, or now own this mandolin, or know who does, please contact me email@example.com . Many thanks, Charles.) end of update.
While there is evidence that H.A. Weymann & Son, Philadelphia, were making stringed instruments from 1894 or earlier for their retail outlet, it looks likely that they did not increase production for wholesale purposes until the late 1890’s. The catalyst for this was possibly the buying of production equipment and spare parts from the discontinued S.S. Stewart enterprise in 1898, also of Philadelphia.
Their very early banjos and guitars carried a gold decal, but no serial or style (model) number. Still later they carried a serial number but no style number. I believe around 1900 they finally added a style number as well.
H.A. Weymann and Son of Philadelphia (1865–1940’s) are best known for their beautifully crafted, elaborate 1920s tenor banjos, but they also made exquisite guitars. But their numbers are few. I’ve collected 6 of these guitars and I have been researching their history and the history of the company for some years now.