Albert Shutt (1877-1963)
Albert Shutt was a musician and instrument designer from Topeka, Kansas who introduced many innovative ideas for guitar, mandolin, and harp-guitar. Of special interest as it relates to the instruments developed by Lloyd Loar and The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co. Limited in the early 1920s were the features Shutt employed in his mandolin design. These included an arched soundboard and backboard, f-holes, elevated fretboard, body scrolls, and a narrower fretboard whose width and taper were surprisingly identical to that of the F5 mandolin. However, Shutt’s soundboard design did not feature tonebars, and the body was somewhat smaller than that of the F5 mandolin. His soundboards and backboards were taped to add a bit of strength and inhibit grain cracking.
Shutt received a U.S. design Patent #40,564 on March 8, 1910. The patent had a seven year life, which meant that by 1917, anyone, including Gibson, was free to employ the design features in their instruments.
Shutt's mandolins featured an elevated fingerboard extension. This design pre-dated the use of elevated extensions on Gibson mandolins and guitars.
The Shutt mandolins where finished in a honey-brown color and featured an ebony fingerrest.
The machines were set into the peghead and the back of the peghead was covered with a plate (the plate pictured here is not original).
The soundboard was reinforced with tape to prevent checking and cracking, and the instrument was absent of tone bars or braces.
For more information about Albert Shutt and his instrument designs, please visit http://www.harpguitars.net/history/shutt/shutt.htm