Lap steel guitar (No. 1 Hawaiian guitar model)

about 1936
Manufactured by Dobro Company (American)

Object Place: Los Angeles, California, United States


Guitar: length 94.5 cm, width 26.8 cm, depth 4.8 cm (Length 37 3/16 in., width 10 9/16 in., depth 1 7/8 in.) Amplifier: height 35.5 cm, width 38.4 cm, depth 23.4 cm (height 14 in., width 15 1/8 in., depth 9 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Aluminum, rosewood, plastic

Not On View


Americas, Musical Instruments



Body, neck, headstock, and nut constructed from one piece of cast aluminum. Lyre logo and elongated F-holes cast into body. Back of body and neck covered with brown felt. Tuning machines of nickel silver. Fingerboard of rosewood with fret markers of pearl dots and twenty-six frets of nickel silver. Split-blade pickup with two knurled screws for height adjustment. Bridge cover of nickel silver. Volume and tone knobs of white plastic. Body and neck painted brown with faux wood grain, accented by gold paint in recesses of body. Original hard-shell case. Four slides of steel (one old), two finger picks of metal and two of plastic. Amplifier of plywood covered by tweed-patterned cloth with three green and black stripes. Circular cover for speaker of perforated aluminum.


Cast into body: DOBRO; stamped on back of headstock: A252; inscribed inside amplifier: National / Dobro Amplifier / SER. NO. 5090 MODEL 13-16 / …


1936, sold by Roger Morse, Brockton, Massachusetts, to his student, William E. Metta (b. 1915), Massachusetts; 2000, sold by Metta to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 2000)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott