These are some of the photos I took while at the Smithsonian Institution's American History Museum Guitar Exhibit in 1997. Guitars were courtesy of the Chinery and John Sprung Collections.
Mid '40s K&F amp
Note the gray crackle finish.
Mid '40s K&F Lap steel and amp
These were usually sold as sets. Needless to say, not many of these were built.
Mid '40s K&F Lap steel headstock
Closeup of the K&F lightning bolt logo. Note the shrunken tuner.
This is one of the first Stratocasters built.
Note how the bakelite on these parts is worn down from years of playing.
This is a real rare axe. Leo Fender changed the name of this
guitar after the Gretsch company said it was the same name as
their Broadkaster drum kit.
1950 Broadcaster (neck)
Note the worn finish on the frets. Leo had problems with this type of finish throughout he '50s. He switched to rosewood fingerboards in mid-1959 to alleviate this "finish wear" problem. This resulted in "darker tones" compared to the brighter sounding maple-capped necks.
1950 Broadcaster (complete guitar)
This guitar is as timeless today as when it was first built.