Dyer Harp Guitar No. 7

The Dyer company began in 1871 when William John Dyer and his brother C.E. Dyer opened a music store in St. Paul, MN.

Although their labels claimed otherwise, Dyer harp guitars were actually made by the Larson Brothers of Chicago, who were best known for the guitars they made for performers on the “WLS National Barn Dance” radio show.

The hollow support arm, which is an integral part of the body, distinguishes the Dyer harp guitars and harp mandolins from those of other makers. The design was patented by, and licensed from, Norwegian-born Chris Knutsen, who made instruments for Dyer before the Larsons came onboard around 1902.

The guitar’s sub-bass strings provided a wider and richer array of harmonic possibilities than the standard six-string, but few guitarists made the extra effort to master the technique.