Jerry wanted an acoustic CBG, of course, with frets. Beyond that, he said it was up to me. What better way to capture the spirit of the Great Depression era, I thought, than to build the instrument using a cigar box that was manufactured during the 1930s? I sourced one and sent Jerry some pics. He approved - and soon this 1933 John Ruskin cigar box was in my hands.
|The National Recovery Act was passed by Congress in 1933.|
The year this cigar box was built, the American economy hit its very bottom. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office. Bread lines were long. Destitute men roamed the country, catching rides on train cars, in search of work.
When Roosevelt uttered his famous line "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," this cigar box was likely sitting on a drug store counter somewhere, peddling its wares for 5 cents each (the price is inside the lid).
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, a relatively unknown man named Adolph Hitler rose to power as Chancellor of what would become Nazi Germany.
I deliberately left things a little bit rough (such as the edges of the sound holes) because a person making this in 1933 would have been far more interested in the music it made than in having a finely finished appearance. I did add some rusty wire screens to the sound holes, for a better appearance, however. Because the paper graphics were brittle and loose in places, I used a clear matte sealer to secure loose edges and to provide a protective coat.
The neck, hand shaped, sanded and oiled, is oak with a Rosewood fret board, scaled to 25 inches. The guitar is strung with medium gauge Blues Blaster strings and tuned to Open G (GDG). When Jerry is ready, I'll hopefully have video to share.
For your own custom cigar box guitar, contact Deep South CBG via email or through Facebook messenger. Each custom cigar box guitar I build is a one-of -a-kind, made by hand, just for you. Together, we can build you a playable piece of art that will be an heirloom for generations!
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