Just wondering this out of curiosity, why do many resonator guitars have metal bodies? I was having a discussion about this and my best guess is simply that it's less temperamental than wood and therefore better in a situation where it's not providing most of the resonance, but I was wondering if anyone was aware of the original reasoning behind the choice to make the bodies out of metal.
Louder. When the Dopera brothers came to America to start making instruments, they perceived a need for an instrument that would project and stand out in band situations. This was prior to electronic amplification.
So, they started producing their sheet-steel bodied guitars which incorporated a speaker-cone arrangement for the strings to vibrate.
The instruments never caught on with big-band players, due not only to the tone but the fact that shortly amplification did become available.
However, blues guys and street buskers and such loved 'em.... They were loud and the piercing, metallic tone was perfect for blues playing. And you didn't need an amp.