Larson Brothers Prairie State 1930-1935 "Big Boy" #1113 21" Flattop Acoustic
The Larson brothers (Carl and August) were a pair of Swedish immigrants who came to the U.S. in the late 1880s, landing in Chicago. Originally bouncing from company to company as luthiers, they landed in a good spot of luck when they purchased the Maurer & Company guitar manufacturer in 1900. With this newfound resource, they manufactured guitars for decades under a number of names: Stahl, Maurer, Prairie State, Euphonon, Dyer, and Bruno. Rising in popularity throughout the 1920s-1940s, then dropping off sharply with the advent of electric guitar based music, these Chicago made guitars are often forgot about, despite their incredibly quality.
Well, folks, you can't miss this one. This is the single largest guitar ever built by the venerable manufacturers, measuring it at an incredible 21 inches at the lower bout, with a total length of 43 inches. The back and sides are one of the largest swaths of Brazilian rosewood we've ever seen, along with the huge Adirondack top.
There is a metal brace on the inside, one of the many design ideas that came from the Prairie State guitars at that time.
This guitar is a monster, for sure. Despite its large size, however, it's remarkably playable in the right position, having been designed for larger volume. It was purchased originally by a man name William Piel around 1930, then ended up some time later in the collection of famed collector Scott Chinery. The guitar can be seen in the Chinery Collection book, as well as "The Larsons' Creations: by Robert Carl Hartman.
Serial #1113 comes with a hardshell case.