-- Museum of Musical Instruments
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   First manufactured in 1927, the Tri-cone is the earliest of various designs for a resonator guitar created by performer George Beauchamp and inventor John Dopyera (1893-1988). As the name implies, the Tri-cone employs three shallow aluminum cones (covered by grill work in the lower half of the body) to amplify the sound of the strings, which are acoustically coupled to the cones by a T-shaped bridge. The Tri-cone also has a hollow neck for added resonance, a feature Dopyera may have adopted from the Hawaiian-style guitars made by neighboring craftsman Herman Weissenborn. At least as radical as the Tri-cone's acoustical structures are its body and neck of nickel alloy covered with shiny nickel-silver plating. The gleaming metallic finish and geometric latticework are distinctly in the Art Deco style, but this "Machine Age" look is oddly juxtaposed with delicate engraved flowers on the front, back, and sides that are much more Victorian in flavor.

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