The 1954 Harmony Stratotone was built as a compact, affordable alternative to the major companies' solidbodies, with a simple control set of volume and tone dials and a bypass slider for a single-coil pickup.

In '54, Harmony introduced the gold-finished H44 Stratotone as a guitar for the masses. Today, it's a favorite among vintage slide fiends.

This morning I was reading about the great American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. His achievements in housing design were truly remarkable and breathtaking, but in the early 1900s he became interested in applying his mastery to building economical housing for working people. There's even a block of his tiny homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along Burnham Street, and they feature some of Wright's most famous design cues, such as flat roofs and central hearths. It got me thinking about guitars and how the idea of economical brands has existed almost since the dawn of the dime store. In the U.S., I always think of Harmony, Kay, and Danelectro as the builders who made good quality guitars in the low-to-middle price range, and this resonated with Wright's ideas of homes for the working class. By the 1950s, we would need guitars for the working class, too!

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