Kay Guitar Identification

By Michael B. Smith

The Kay Guitar Company manufactured guitars from the late 1920s. The guitars were generally made for department store chains such as Sear's and J.C. Penney.

ID Method 1: Production/Serial Number

Check to see if there is a number printed inside the guitar body. This number seems to be linked to a production code rather than an actual serial number, but it still may be useful for identification.

ID Method 2: Source-code ID

Source-code identification is another way to identify your guitar. Look for a six- or seven-number code stamped into the pots. The last three or four numbers will tell you the year and week of production for that pot. Knowing the year the pot was made can help you better estimate the year the guitar was manufactured (see Resources).

ID Method 3: Online Catalogs

Research product catalogs. For a small fee, you can access online Kay Guitar catalogs from the 1950s to the 1990s (see Resources).

ID Method 4: Vintage guitar collector

Contact a Vintage guitar collector with the make and model of your guitar.

ID Method 5: Visual ID

Browse through photos of Kay Guitars to visually identify your make and model. Most online collections are categorized by year and model (see Resources).

About the Author

I have been a professional video and film producer for over 15 years. I enjoy all aspects of the craft, including script writing, directing, editing, motion graphics and audio recording. I am also a working musician, vocals and guitar, and have enjoyed playing live music for 13 years.