Recently my uncle passed away and now I have possession of a resonator guitar that belonged to my great uncle. I was hoping someone could give me some information about it, because I've failed with my attempts to google. Anyway, the brand is National and at the bottom "S3996" is written. It has this classy "tropical" design on it with palm trees and such. My great uncle died in WWII so I suppose this guitar must be from perhaps the late 30s or early 40s. Any other info would be greatly appreciated.

take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship, my senses have been stripped.
its worth a LOT of money.
I can't stand watching people waste their money on horrible gear.
that is going to catch you a fair price - but Id hold on to it, you wont see many of those around

Epi Les Paul Std w/Duncans
Cry Baby From Hell
Marshall JH-1
EHX Metal Muff
MXR EVH Phase 90
Carl Martin Classic Chorus
EHX #1 Echo
Ibanez LU-20
Dunlop DCB-10
Crate V50112
Tascam US144

Thanks for the responses.

I don't plan on selling it, I'm just really curious about it's background and it's worth because the family I have spoken to about it appears to not know much about the guitar.

More feedback is welcome.
take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship, my senses have been stripped.
It's a nice guitar, I was reading an article about national the other day, they first made resonators for the purpose of increased volume (no electrics when these were first made). Before these were made guitars were generally drowned out when played alongside other instruments. It was almost a coincidence that they also had good tonal properties.

I wouldnt sell it, just enjoy it. It obviously has a lot of sentimental value, and its a nice piece of music/guitar history too
At the National site, on the instruments page, go to the "Replicon". I found the current day replica of your guitar. It's so close it's eerie. About the only difference I can see is that on your's the F holes are a bit longer, sort of stretched out more, than on the new one. Have a look and you'll see what I mean.
Excellent guitar by the way! Take very good care of it as it is quite valuable.


And at Amazon.com there's a history book dedicated exclusively to National Resonators. Have a look. You might want to buy this book.

Last edited by LeftyDave at May 26, 2008,