Does anyone know if there is a way to trace the serial number of my Wurlitzer-Starke harp? I am trying to find out more of the history of it. It is a Wurlitzer-Starke Concert Grande No. 747, serial number 744. It has 47 strings and a straight soundboard.
Hi Jennifer- I am the happy owner of #696, which is a Model C with a straight soundboard. Google Wurlitzer pedal harp and you’ll find most of what there is available so far.
The Dutch site that you will find has some great pictures of Wurlitzers, and also a chronological listing of a lot of them. Mine isn’t there yet but I hope to have it there pretty soon.
You will find some things about the North Tonawanda Wurlitzer Museum and also a fantastic book about harps, I think “Harps and Harpists”, that has a great article about them too.
For various reasons, there is not as good a historical record about them as there is about Lyon and Healys, but what there is you will find fascinating, especially since you have one yourself.
Mine has been beautifully restored by Howard Bryan, and you will also want to read what he says about stringing. My harp is totally original including neck and soundboard. It came from Howard’s workshop and when he told me it was in sustainable shape I decided to give it a try for a while. I might well be able to get more sound out of it if I’d gone with a new soundboard, but I wanted to find out what it had sounded like when it was played for the first time.
It’s a subject I love to learn about, so feel free to contact me offline if you come up with a source I don’t have.
I’d love to know what you’ve done with your harp so far in terms of restoration or refurbishing.