That Was The Year... 1931 Coalition, Caltech and Catastrophe
MARTIN GUITARS INTRODUCES
a simple border of straight lines on its archtop range in stark contrast to the traditional ‘herringbone’ purfling that has been used since the 1850s. it’s a bold move but definitely serves to give their models a more modern persona and of course the excellence in design and build remains constant. however the herringbone is retained on the new D-28 which features a solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides and an ebony fingerboard with pearl diamond shaped inlays.
BOLDLY ARRIVING INTO THE WORLD ARE
sam cooke, lonnie Donegan, skeeter Davis, ike Turner, Jim Nesbitt along with actors James Dean, Diana Dors, les Dawson, lionel Blair and star Trek stars William shatner and leonard Nimoy.
ASTRONOMER EDWIN HUBBLE AND ALBERT
einstein begin doing research at the california institute of Technology (caltech) where einstein also gives lectures at the Department of Physics. chemist harold clayton urey discovers heavy hydrogen (deuterium) and ernest lawrence invents the cyclotron that accelerates particles, helping in the study of nuclear physics.
GEORGE BEAUCHAMP AND RICKENBACKER ELECTRO
produce the prototype a-22, the first electric lap steel guitar in existence. The round body and long neck soon earn it the nickname of the ‘Frying Pan’ and while this prototype is made of maple the production model will be cast aluminium. The pickup is a curious affair that features a pair of opposing horseshoe magnets that arch over the strings but this powerful and effective design soon becomes a rickenbacker trademark and the pickup is still used on some of their guitars and basses to this day.
VIOLENT WEATHER WITH THE WORST HURRICANE
in British honduras ever recorded kills around 1,500 people; the cities of Napier and hastings in New Zealand are destroyed in an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the richter scale; the Panama canal is closed due to earthquake damage; and horrendous floods in china are considered to be the deadliest natural disaster yet recorded.
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS fOLLOWS
a run on the British pound; the uk abandons the gold standard; ramsay MacDonald’s labour Party resigns and the general election results in victory for the National Government (coalition) of people drawn from all parties. it’s the country’s greatest ever electoral landslide.
GIBSON RELEASES ITS L-10 ARCHTOP
with a 16-inch bound body, f-holes and a raised, dark tortoiseshell scratchplate. The top is hand carved, bookmatched solid spruce with carved maple back and sides. The maple neck has a bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl dot inlays. The headstock features an inlaid pearl Gibson logo and is black faced to match the livery of the body and neck. The tuners and the wrapover trapeze tailpiece are nickel.