From Rickenbacker International Corporation
Rickenbacker Electro Hawaiian,
the Frying Pan
Electro String Instrument Corporation
Los Angeles, California
Crafted from a single piece of wood, this lap-steel guitar was
the prototype for a cast-aluminum model nicknamed the Frying
Pan. The first commercially successful electric guitar, its electromagnetic
pickup is essentially the technology used on all electric guitars
Working for Adolph Rickenbacker, George Beauchamp filed his
first U.S. patent application for the Frying Pan in 1932, shortly
before the guitar went into commercial production. A second,
greatly revised application was submitted in 1934.
Although the Frying Pan was already on the market, two successive
patent examiners questioned whether the instrument was "operative."To
prove that it was, Adolph Rickenbacker sent several guitarists
to perform for the examiners at the Patent Office in Washington,
After many such delays, the patent was finally granted in 1937.
By that time, though, other inventors had developed and marketed
electric guitars of their own.