Weymann ‘Keystone State’ O Sized Guitar c.1906

H.A. Weymann and Son 'O' sized Guitar c.1906
H.A. Weymann and Son ‘O’ sized Guitar c.1906


This is an early H.A. Weymann and Son made guitar dated c.1906. Labelled ‘Keystone State’ with their early gold decal shield shape that was discontinued about 1910. It has deep red Cuban mahogany back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck and Brazilian rosewood fret board.  It has a serial number of 6044.  Weymann’s very early guitars did not have serial numbers, and they started adding them about 1900.  Sometime around 1910 they also added style numbers.

This guitar is larger than the standard sized guitar of the era.  This would have been called Grand Concert size.  It has similar measurements to C.F. Martin and Co. 12 Fret size ‘O’ guitar.



MEASUREMENTS       Martin O Size              This Weymann
Total Length                       37 3/4″                               38 1/4″
Body Length                       19 1/8″                               19
Lower Bout                         13 1/2″                               13 3/4″
Body Depth                         4 1/16″                                4″
Scale                                                                              25 1/4″

This guitar, like all other Weymann guitars, is beautifully crafted.  It is ladder braced, lightweight, and has had a neck reset and a re-fret.  It has replacement Stew-Mac period tuners but I still have the original.  It now has a fixed truss rod and a new handmade truncated pyramid ebony bridge in keeping with the original.


Retailers Label
Retailers Label

This is a key instrument for dating the serial numbers of all Weymann stringed instruments (see Weymann dating post). On the front of the headstock is a white label button with the words “O.F. Kauffman, Reading, Pa.” Under this in a very small font is “The Whitehead & Hoag Co. Newark, NJ. Pat. June 6, 1905.” This is the name of the maker of the label button. They were the first advertising button manufacturers making advertising buttons from the late 1800’s, including presidential buttons.

MTR May 18, 1907
MTR May 18, 1907

From The Music Trade Review (MTR) Oliver.F. Kauffman was a piano store owner in Reading Pa. and probably the retailer of this instrument. There are some references to him in the MTR, starting at 1900, but the one that stands out is that he was sadly one of thirty-six people killed in the Mystic Shriners’ train wreck California in May 1907.

Because there are no references to the Kauffman store after this 1907 date it looks like the store ceased trading after the death of Mr. Kauffman.

With the patent date of 1905 that certainly gives some weight that this guitar dated from 1905-1907.

(This is a H.A. Weymann and Son c.1906 ‘O’ Size Guitar played by Guitarist and Kirtan Artist PRALAD. He is singing the timeless ‘Hare Krishna’ mantra to the tune of “Here Comes The Sun”).


6 thoughts on “Weymann ‘Keystone State’ O Sized Guitar c.1906

    1. Thanks Terry, hoping to have a YouTube link so you can hear how this instrument sounds soon – beautiful! I have a friend just doing the edit now. There’ll be many more instruments posted over the coming weeks and months.

  1. I just bought a Weymann parlor guitar, serial no. 7298, from 1906. The body width at the lower bout is 12 3/4 inches, and 9 1/8 inches at the upper bout. The back and sides appear to be of Brazilian Rosewood, and it has fancy inlays on the fingerboard and bridge. Any ideas as to what model it would be? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike…..It wasn’t until a bit later that Weymann started putting model (or style) numbers on their guitars and I don’t know of any catalogs that go back that early, so I’m sorry I cannot help you with a model number. They may not have even attributed model numbers to their guitars that early, just the serial numbers. I managed to contact some Weymann descendants but records from the company were never kept.
      Many of their guitars from that era could have been custom built or at least individually decorated. I can say that with Brazilian rosewood and the fancy inlays it would have been one of their more expensive guitars. Any chance of some photos, I’d really like to see the guitar? My email address appears in my Links page.

  2. Hi,

    Was this guitar designed to use with gut strings back then ?
    It looks like that it uses steel strings. Is it safe to use low tension steel strings like ‘ silk&steel’? Does anyone have any information?

    1. Hi Stephen. Someone may correct me but I think by the early 1900’s steel strings were widely used, and I suspect this guitar had steel strings. Either way as long as the neck and braces are secure I’ve had no problem using Extra Light steel strings on all the ‘parlor’ guitars I’ve owned, including early Bay State guitars which were designed for gut strings. I personally like Tomastik-Infeld Plectrum strings .010-.041, but Martin also make an Extra Light Silk and steel.

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