J.W. Jenkins - Guitar Builder
Kansas City based J.W. Jenkins, build and marketed guitars under the brands of Harwood, Clifford & Washington in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Harwoods are our primary area of focus when it comes to Jenkins. Prior to 1894, the Harwoods were built by John C. Haynes of Boston, MA. After 1894, Harwoods were built in Kansas City.
Haynes guitars were the finest guitars of the era, as any Bay State or Tilton owner would tell you. The early Harwoods had the distinct, look and feel of other Haynes guitars. When production moved to Kansas City in 1894, the Harwoods maintained a very similar look and feel to Boston built version. This is a testament to the quick learning and mastering of luthier skills by the Jenkins outfit.
In later years the Harwoods had a slightly different look and feel. Its hard to imagine but some folks think the later KC Harwoods were of higher quality than the Boston-built Harwoods.
"I don't like to get into which is better but I like the necks on the later Harwoods, they are a little fuller but you can't go wrong with any Harwood." said our shop manager, Randall Van Dyke. "All Harwoods use the finest woods, are incredibly well built and sound amazing".
We've read on certain websites that some Harwoods may have been made in Chicago. We've not seen any Harwoods that resemble any Chicago made instruments, that doesn't mean such an instrument doesn't exist. There were fine instruments made in Chicago, but in our experience they don't rise to the level of a Harwood.
We've had our hands on many Harwoods. Nothing classes up a guitar shop like a Harwood hanging on the wall. Contact us to see what we have in stock.