In 1934 The H. N. White Company started making string instruments with the same attention to quality that was used to make brass instruments. The H. N. White Basses quickly gained a reputation for their superior tone but also for their unbelievable quality. The First sting instruments appear in White Way News Number 7 (1934) and were of the King brand only. In 1936 (White Way News Number 9) The American Standard string bass appears. The string basses fronts were made from the finest straight grain spruce with very close grain quality, while the rest of the instrument was made of curly maple. Each bass was equipped with an improved geared key mechanism, insuring rigidity and sensitive tuning. The H. N. White Company claimed that each "King string bass has a greater volume of tone, and carries the vibrations over a longer period of time, than any other string bass..." Production of both the King and American Standard versions were halted during the Second World War. Production resumed for the King string bass in 1946, and the American Standard Bass in 1949. The King Cello was introduced in 1940, a few months before the start of WW II. Production of the Cello did not restart right after the war, but did start in 1950. At this time I am not sure why there was such a delay in Cello production but my guess is that management wanted to focus on greater volume with less versions of instruments. Both brands continued in production until 1965. At this point it is my understanding that Mr. Ernie Long (who was also the head of the Case Department) was also in charge of the String Department.

After 1965 the string division of the company was sold off to the Kay Bass Company.

Click here to see what the String Models looked like in the H. N. White Catalogs!




1934 Factory Picture
1940 Factory Picture. The first time this picture is shown is in the 1945 White Way News Special Edition. This picture is featured in a number of catalogs right up to 1963.
1962 Factory tour picture.
1962 String Bass picture

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