These large instrument manufacturers were also known as “jobbers” and “house brands” because they produced guitars for many other retailers and distributors.Kay can trace its roots back to 1890 when the Groeschel Company in Chicago, Illinois, began producing bowl-back mandolins.Today, they're well-respected and appreciated by everyone from beginning guitarists and bassists to pro performers.As with any instrument in the guitar family, one of the most important things to consider when choosing an Alvarez guitar or bass is the construction.Dear Guitar Trash or Treasure, I bought this Kay guitar 10 years ago and I have no idea what it is.There are no markings on the guitar and no serial number I can find.
Nonetheless, Kay is considered an electric guitar pioneer because Kuhrmeyer bought their past company, Stromberg-Voisinet, and produced the first commercial electric guitar, the Stromberg Electro, in 1928.
Kay was very good about issuing a catalog every year, and they appear to be fairly accurate and up to date. After a little research, I found an exact match to your guitar in the 19/68 Kay catalogs.
Browsing these old catalogs is usually very interesting and it has become a pasttime of many collectors – simply to gain more information on guitars.
This makes for a very difficult (and often frustrating) process to identify a Kay guitar.
As far as I know there are two books on Kay Guitars: ‘50’s Cool: Kay Guitars by Jay Scott focuses on the 1950s era guitars, and Guitar Stories, Volume Two by Michael Wright does a very nice job outlining the Kay history and gives a complete description on all Kay models.