Hermann Weissenborn had been building violins in Los Angeles from around 1912. Then, in 1915 the Panama Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco, celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. Over 13 million people attended the Expo, and more than a few were very much taken with their first exposure to traditional Hawaiian music, on show at several stands. New sounds to most American ears, the singing slide tones captivated radio and live audiences for much of the next two decades. Hermann Weissenborn turned has hand to designing his own variation on the early Hawaiian instruments and his now famous eponymous creations began appearing in the early twenties.
Other builders also capitalized on the boom, many of them quick to copy Weissenborn’s hollow neck designs. Hawaiian method teaching courses also did big business, with several of the largest having their own instruments built, chiefly by Washburn or Oscar Schmidt, and it’s most likely the New Jersey based Oscar Schmidt company that was responsible for our Hawaiian Teachers of Hollywood instrument here.
(And that's as far as we got before one of our regular cucstomers snapped this little beauty up!)