Old Dulcimer Cases
What's Going On In The Shop (Posted by Richard Ash on 3/12/2015)
I was thinking about Folkcraft and case making this weekend, and decided to show you a few of the cases in my personal collection. There are three photos here:
The first case (medium brown color) is really, really heavy leather. This is a case from the earliest days of the company (it came with my Capritaurus dulcimer, serial number 13). Most likely the case was made in 1969, when the instrument was built. Solid leather, hand stitching all around, shoulder strap. Top-load.
The stitching is coming apart in several places, but since this instrument is part of our "museum wall" (you can see it on display in the showroom) I left the case "as is."
The second case is from Lyndonville, Vermont. Folkcraft had these in the 1975 catalog for $6.00. Natural-colored canvas, hand painted musical motifs. Small pocket for picks. Drawstring closure, top-load.
Made in Lyndonville. Folkcraft didn't live in Lyndonville for very long - the early years saw meteoric growth, and a move to a larger shop was necessary shortly after the company's founding.
The third case is our latest attempt at the perfect case. 600 denier black polyester fabric, coated for waterproofing. Plywood lining, with heavyweight open cell foam both inside and outside the plywood. Large accessory pocket, carrying handle, shoulder straps (included, no extra charge), embroidered logo. Top load.
Our latest case. It took us 46 years to get to this stage. And we have all kinds of ideas for subtle improvements.
"Top load" means that the instrument goes in the "end" of the case, not in the side of the case. We also make side load cases (and include them with many of our less-expensive instruments), but the top-load design has some design advantages. My personal non-dulcimer instrument collection also has several top-load cases - my trumpet, my tin whistles, my Native American flute, and my djembe all have top-load cases.
Folkcraft (and FolkRoots) didn't invent top-load cases for dulcimers, but we've been making top-load cases since 1969. Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed the "history lesson!"