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1922 Martin-made Wurlitzer 2092 (0-42)


Martin built guitars for Wurlitzer from 1922-1924, and while most of these guitars conformed to Martin production specs and had a Martin stamp and serial number, the earliest did not. According to Martin archival production records, from March 1922 to December 5th of 1922 the guitars built for Wurlitzer had no serial number, no Martin stamp, and some models differed slightly from standard Martin production specs. After 12/5/22, the Wurlitzer guitars had Martin stamps and serial numbers, and conformed to production specs for existing Martin models. This Wurlitzer model 2092 is the early version, with no Martin serial number or stamp, and specs that are most closely associated with style 40 or 42. Those well acquainted with Martin appointments and workmanship would nevertheless be able to recognize this as Martin-built from across a dimly lit room, as it has all the understated class and elegance of all Martin's guitars from this era and superb workmanship that earned the company its reputation. This model with the specs it exhibits is an identical twin to the Wurlitzer 2092 that is in the Martin museum collection, and is pictured on page 249 of Richard Johnston and Dick Boak's "Martin Guitars: A Technical Reference". According to the Technical Reference, only 11 of the 2092 model were ever manufactured. According to the archival records, only 7 of this early spec version of the 2092 were built before the specs changed to match style 42 perfectly (which occurred in December of '22).


This 2092 has a single ring rosette of pearl, pearl top purfling and fretboard inlay that is something between a style 42 and 45. the body is standard Martin 12 fret 0 size (13 1/2" lower bout) and scale (24.9"). The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood and the top Adirondack spruce. The neck is mahogany and the fret board and bridge are ebony. The top is X braced, very lightly and the bracing is scalloped. The body is bound in ivoroid as is the neck. The back strip has a center purfling of multi-colored split herringbone, which is the same as would be found on both style 42 and 45 guitars of the era. The tuners are beautifully engraved Waverlys. The nut width is 1 7/8" and the pin spacing is 2 3/8". The guitar has the "Wurlitzer" stamp on the back of the headstock as well as on the spruce center joint graft inside of the back.  Interestingly, when the neck was off for the reset I noted a pencil marking on the face of the heel that reads "0-42 W". The "W" refers to the neck being destined for a Wurlitzer model, and the "0-42" was likely a factory marking indicating that neck was to be used for a style 42 production guitar.  This instrument came to me from the family of the original owner, a fellow by the name of E. A. Wilson, and according to Martin archive records it was originally ordered through Martin dealer N. A. Newton of Oil City, PA.