The history of the electric guitar began in the early 1930s. Especially the Hawaiian lap steel guitar was electrified and used by several Hawaiian bands of the time. British Pathé has documented such performances, those are certainly very interesting documents for the history of the elctric guitar.
Rudy Starita 22/06/1936
Now Pathetone has pleasure in presenting the popular radio and variety band leader Rudy Starita with the newest in musical instruments, the electric guitar.
M/S of Rudy Starita introducing the electric guitar
“Hello folks, let me introduce the electric steel guitar, for the first time, featuring some Hawaiian song”
The video shows some closeup views of this electric steel guitar and also of the amp.
EDDIE PEABODY AND HIS BEACHCOMBERS
EDDIE PEABODY 10/10/1938
Eddie Peabody shows ‘The Electraphone’ – his all-electric string band – and tries out each electric guitar so we can hear the sound they make individually.
Eddie’s band, The Beachcombers, enter wearing sailor suits and start to play the instruments – the electric ones being left on a central table as if drawing their power from it! (Probably didn’t have any flexes.)
It looks like the Electraphone was a complete “electric music box” with electric guitar, electric mandolin, electric banjo and electric steel guitar all mounted to a table. The table beneath the instruments did obviously contain the amp and the loudspeakers, no cables are visible. The table has two logos “VEGA” on it and the inscription: All Electric.
Al Shaw 28/09/1939
M/S as Al Shaw tells a story about his holiday and uses his electric guitar to create the sound effects, such as train, dog, car, seagulls and ship. Various shots of trains and ships to highlight the story.
Al Shaw uses the electric steel guitar to produce special sounds to illustrate his story. He makes use of the volume control to modify the sounds. The instrument he uses looks exactly like the one used by Rudy Starita in the first video.
More infromation about the history of the electric guitar can be found in the wikipedia: electric guitar
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