Stratotone Newport Model H-42/2 Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1956)

Stratotone Newport Model H-42/2 Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony  (1956)
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Item # 9433
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Stratotone Newport Model H-42/2 Model Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1956), made in Chicago, serial # HHH, green metallic finish, hardwood body and neck, original two-tone chipboard case.

Originally listed at the grand sum of $67.50 the Harmony Stratotone Newport H-42/2 is about as small, simple and handy as an electric guitar gets. The metallic green "Colorama" finish and the metal-and-rubber "Harmometal" body trim make this a fantastic example of 1950's "Populuxe" aesthetics. The through-body neck is very large and chunky, but the body wings are very thin and light making for a unique feel. You really could use this as a canoe paddle, which we would not recommend although we've seen some that look like they spent some time upriver!

The pickup is the same DeArmond made unit as the more familiar and slightly more upscale Model H-44 which cost all of $5.00 more in most years. Despite its diminutive size and rather unsubstantial feel the guitar is quite chunky sounding. The controls are a single tone-bypass switch and a cool stacked tower of concentric tone and volume knobs on a single pot. This example carries a stacked pot dated 550 (the end of 1955) so was probably sold in 1956. This gleaming green H-42/2 is a relatively rare guitar, especially in this fairly clean condition and a real treat for the '50's culture connoisseur.
Overall length is 36 1/4 in. (92.1 cm.), 11 in. (27.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar shows some light wear overall but is actually the nicest of these we have had. The green lacquer retains excellent color; it shows small dings, chips and dents but is better preserved than most. The most notable chipping is to the unprotected sharp back body edge and headstock corners. All the (fairly minimal) hardware is original with one exception.

That is the weak point on these: the screwed-on soft wood bridge. While the one on this example remained intact it was (as usual) too high for anything resembling a comfortable action. Instead of altering it we have made an ebony replica which is not only a more manageable height but sturdier and has an arched saddle to improve playability. The original is preserved in a baggie in the case pocket.

This guitar will never play like a 1950's Les Paul, but this is as good as it gets and actually quite a serviceable guitar with what look like practically unworn original frets. It is housed in the cheap but relatively intact original two-tone chipboard case, the relic of more colorful times. Long live "Colorama" and Harmometal" may they be a balm for our modern times! Excellent - Condition.