TheMoMI.org -- Museum of Musical Instruments
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   In spite of numerous business restructurings experienced by the companies that used the National brand name, their instruments consistently showed an imaginative approach to styling, beginning with the first resonator guitars of dazzling nickel silver introduced in the late 1920s. National lap steels from later decades were no exception, exhibiting astute awareness of design trends that influenced the look of other traditionally style-conscious products, such as radios and automobiles. The Dynamic model lap steel is a marvelous example of Valco's flair for design, resulting in an intrinsically engaging object regardless of whether one is interested in its ability to produce sound. The black and white color scheme creates a clean, elegant style, and the curved shapes of the headstock, body, and control knob plates all suggest the streamlined look that was still prevalent when the Dynamic was first introduced in the 1940s. The pattern of stepped fret markers owes more to the slightly older fashion of Art Deco, while the colored geometric shapes punctuate the instrument with a playful, graphic element.



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