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I believe the "F'" and "S" may have stood for first and second half of the year." Photo below : this H22 bass is from 1964 Photo below : this flat top guitar is from 1957.There is some variation in theses date stamps, (in an oval box on some pre-war models), but usually all guitars had one. Date from pickups On electric guitars with "De Armond" pickups, you should be able to find a precise date stamped on the back of the pickups, or on the back of the pickguard (some screws to remove).It's said that the letter at the beginning indicates the period of the year, like "F" for "Fall" or "S" for "Spring".That was before Ed, a former worker from the Harmony factory, said : "The company closed down production every July for two weeks.They always are on a place easy to read, ie near the f-holes on a archtop.The larger one is the serial number, and the part after the "H" letter is the model number.- If your guitar is an electric, most models produced after 1960 (and all cutaway) have a laminated top and/or body.Older "full box" archtops designed from acoustic models still were made from solid woods.
Tip : on many guitars (easy to check on flat top acoustics), Harmony stamped the top of the guitar as well as the back, so if the number on the back is difficult to read, use a mirror and check under the top (near the neck) The other smaller stamp is the date stamp and indicates the year of production.
In other words, if this guitar looks like a Meteor H70, it's a Meteor H70, no matter what's the stamped number inside.
- If your guitar is an acoustic, please read this and tell everyone about it : ALL Harmony acoustics were made from solid woods, even the lowest of the lower grade student model, made from solid birch.
Ebay auction site is the main provider for rare parts, but you need to monitor the offers each day... You can check "tom69442" for repro pickguards, and "Harmony12X5" for some parts.
For generic guitar parts and tools, well-known web sites include Stewmac and Allparts.