Radiotone Archtop, c.1935

The introduction of the Gibson L-5 archtop acoustic in 1922 opened up a new role for the guitar as a rhythm and solo instrument in jazz and swing ensembles. European manufacturers, like Gibson’s American competitors, were soon turning out archtops that replicated it’s features.

This Radiotone instrument is likely to have been made in Germany. Definite information about brand is hard to find, but Radiotone ukuleles are known to have been in circulation in Britain before WWII.

This instrument is an elegantly finished, high quality instrument. It would have suited a busy professional who lacked the funds for a Gibson or an Epiphone.

One British “name” performer, Jack McKechnie, used a Radiotone in the 1930s.