Ducks guitar dating
They always are on a place easy to read, ie near the f-holes on a archtop.The larger one is the serial number, and the part after the "H" letter is the model number.
Photos below : solid wood on an acoustic H1311, laminated on an electric H58 - No known professional is specialized in Harmony parts only.Misprints are especially common for popular models, as the Rocket electrics (H53/H54/H56/H59), or the Archtone acouctic archtops (H1213/H1214/H1215).I even checked a couple of guitars with double date stamps, one was stamped 19.It seems Harmony reset these numbers in every batch of the model, so a "6690H22" can be older than a "123H22" for example.Tip : on many guitars (easy to check on flat top acoustics), Harmony stamped the top of the guitar as well as the back, so if the number on the back is difficult to read, use a mirror and check under the top (near the neck) The other smaller stamp is the date stamp and indicates the year of production.It's said that the letter at the beginning indicates the period of the year, like "F" for "Fall" or "S" for "Spring".
That was before Ed, a former worker from the Harmony factory, said : "The company closed down production every July for two weeks.
Either they re-used a back prepared for the previous batch, two years before on the line, or they mistakenly used a 1961 stamp in 1963.
It looks like Harmony serial and date stamps were meant to manage the different parts and instruments on the production line, not to be used as reference by collectors 50 years later... - My brother has a Harmony Meteor in great shape but the the serial number is 84H8448. Do you think someone added the Meteor Label on the Headstock? - These stamped numbers inside Harmony made guitars were not intended as real serial numbers.
Remember that all Harmony made guitars (this means all guitars on this website) are still considered low grade instruments by most players and collectors, and can't be compared in value to the "great" names as Gibson, Fender, Martin...
As a result, only a handful of guys in the world are ready to pay real money for a rare Harmony model.
I believe the "F'" and "S" may have stood for first and second half of the year." Photo below : this H22 bass is from 1964 Photo below : this flat top guitar is from 1957.