Sketches and Patent for Alkire’s EHarp, 1937 and 1950

Sketches of the EHarp, 1937.

After leaving Oahu in the summer of 1934, Alkire started his own company, Eddie Alkire Publications.  Working from his home in Easton, Pennsylvania, he used his company to print improved instructional courses for the steel guitar. In addition to developing a method for teaching the steel guitar, Alkire also developed his own music instruments. Designed in 1937, the EHarp (pronounced Ay-Harp) was an eight-stringed electric steel guitar. Alkire used his knowledge of electrical engineering to create a preliminary diagram, displayed here, of his new instrument. The following year, Alkire corresponded with George Beauchamp of Rickenbacker Guitars, who eventually cast two guitars for Alkire, the first with 8 strings and the second with 10 strings. Alkire’s instrument, however, was not patented until December 26, 1950 as illustrated in this reproduction.

A patent sketch of the EHarp, labeled Fig. 1.
Fig. 1 from the EHarp Patent, 1950.