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The world´s greatest
The story about AB Albin Hagstrom, is an important part of Dalecarlian cultural history. Therefore we were very pleased when we got the offer to buy Arne Johanssons Hagstrom Collection, which is one of the world’s most interesting. During the first phase of the Hagstrom Fundraiser project, we raised enough funds to acquire the entire collection. The 4´th of May 2012 was thus a very significant day for Dalarnas museum. This was the day when Arne Johanssons Hagstrom collection returned to its home in Dalarna, Sweden. Dalarnas museum now owns the world’s greatest Hagstrom collection.
The same day as Arne Johanssons collection was acquired, Phase one of the Hagstrom fundraiser project was completed. We are now working with Phase 2 of the project. This phase aims to collect enough funds to make it possible to build a spectacular, permanent Hagstrom exhibition at Dalarnas museum.
Liberate the guitars from the trays – support the Hagstrom Fundraiser!
Arne Johansson’s collection of Hagström guitars is considered to be the most interesting in the world as it contains a number of guitars from the smaller series, including the first electric guitar prototype, a Standard De Luxe in turquoise celluloid from 1958. There are also quite a few interesting Hagströms electric bass models in the collection, for example a blue Super Swede electric bass from 1981, of which only two copies were made in this particular colour.
The fact is, regardless of which of Hagströms guitar models are your favourites, you can be sure that they are represented in Arne’s collection. In addition the collection contains accordions, amplifiers, a banjo, a mandolin and a lot of advertising material from the Hagström company as well as an original sketch of the logo from 1938.
The conditions that Arne Johansson has laid down are that the collection should be accessible to everyone, and that it will be possible to play on some of the instruments. We will naturally meet both of these conditions.
ABBA, Elvis, Zappa, Pernilla Andersson, Bowie, Mando Diao, Owe Thörnqvist…
Thousands of artists play electric guitars and it is impossible to put your finger on which of them is a typical Hagström user. From Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top to Björn Ulveaus in ABBA to Frank Zappa and his son Dweezil – they have all used the well built guitars from Älvdalen. From dance band and jazz to punk and hard rock. These beautiful guitars are still loved by many well-known artists today.
Always in harmony with the age
The special lacquer on Hagström guitars quickly gave rise to the name “The glitter guitars”. The celluloid and lacquering technique as well as the many buttons and controls came from accordion making and gave the guitars a unique appearance. The unerring sense of form from Älvdalen was appreciated by artists as well as photographers.
It started in Älvdalen in 1931
One of the main reasons that Hagström guitars became so popular was the attractive combination of appearance, playability and price. It was the result of the knowledge they had already amassed before they started making electric guitars.
Albin Hagström in Älvdalen started importing German and Italian accordions in 1921. The enterprise was a success and, like the entrepreneur he was, Per Albin started making his own accordions 10 years later. Mr Hagström was a man of action. Consequently, in 1936, the Italian accordion makers Virigilio Verri and Orlando Gratti arrived at the factory in Älvdalen. The trade secrets these gentlemen had brought with them would also be evident in the first electric guitar, the Hagström Standard De Luxe, which was launched in 1958 in blazing celluloid. Along with the guitars came many other patents, such as a fingerboard in hard nylon, the patented truss rod in H-profile and a modular pickup function. It was the H-shaped truss rod that allowed Hagström to make the thinnest guitar neck, which was in a class of its own.
Hagström guitars built up a good reputation all over the world and, as the company refined its knowledge and production methods, praise from the music press and musicians grew louder and louder. The models were given names that reflected the era; De Luxe, Kent, Impala, Corvette, Automatic and not least the semi-acoustic Viking that Elvis Presley was portrayed with. When the Swede De Luxe was introduced, it was called ”The Super Swede” by the International Musician and Recording magazine in November 1978. Hagström decided to quickly change the name of the guitar to Super Swede, which was also the last model to be serial produced in Sweden. The price competition from Asia got tougher, which forced Hagström to close down the factory in Älvdalen in 1983.