1936 Rickenbacker A-22 Fry Pan Lap Steel Guitar
This lovely Rickenbacker (Richenbacher) Model A-22 Electro lap steel electric guitar was made around 1936 in Los Angeles. It features a gold enamel finish on a cast aluminum body and the legendary 1 1/2" pre-war Horse Shoe pickup! Usually this gold finish is nearly entirely worn away or, worse yet polished out. But on this example it is mostly intact. It even still has its original black hardshell case.
Rickenbacker's Electro Hawaiian Steel Guitar changed the course of music forever! It was the FIRST commercially successful electrified string instrument, as well as the first solid-body guitar ever manufactured. It truly was one of the most historically significant guitars of the 20th century.
The very first Electros made in 1932 and 1933 had no onboard controls. This example is an A-22 short scale and has a single volume pot with an octagonal Bakelite knob. Dating these early Rickenbackers is not an exact science. Its "B" serial number matrix puts it in a later pre-war batch. It’s difficult to pinpoint the date exactly, but 1936 would be a logical guess.
You will note that the body is entirely cast from aluminum with the frets integrated. It features green, red, blue, and black inlaid dot markers. Its 1 1/2-inch horseshoe pickup is an all-original powerhouse with serious tone and sustain for days! It has 3/16" magnets and individual poles in the coil, which is consistent with the model's specifications from the late pre-war era. I was told by the previous owner that the original volume pot was frozen and replaced at some point. It works perfectly. The vintage tuners turn smoothly and stay perfectly in tune.
Overall length is 28 3/4 in. (73 cm.), 7 in. (17.8 cm.) width, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/4 in. (565 mm.). Width of nut is 2 in. (51 mm.).
The condition is excellent for its age!