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H5315 Arch-top guitar, Model G-40, plastic / metal, made by Mario Maccaferri, New York, United States of America, c.1953. Click to enlarge.

Arch-top guitar

Made c 1953

The use of plastics for musical instruments became especially popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s with companies using materials such as bakelite to create clarinets, saxophones, recorders, small table-top organs and even small sets of bagpipes. Bakelite had also been used for the bodies of banjos but in the early 1950s guitar designer Mario Maccaferri, using a plastic product called Styron, began to manufacture both arch top and flat top guitars.

Maccaferri, an accomplished guitarist, ha...


Object No.


Object Statement

Arch-top guitar, Model G-40, plastic / metal, made by Mario Maccaferri, New York, United States of America, c.1953

Physical Description

Guitar body made of moulded 'Styron' plastic; cut-away arch-top shape with 'f' holes; neck-through-body construction; back and sides dark red/black 'rosewood' plastic; cream plastic soundboard with wooden ribs; metal tailpiece; neck has wooden core, sheathed in steel and finished in plastic; adjusting screw at rear of guitar tilts neck to adjust string height; plastic fretboard, metal frets and white fret dots; metal machineheads with white plastic knobs; plastic bridge; fret dots on back and front of neck; neck incorporates plastic nut; screws in back of neck enable removal.


Maccaferri in maroon on white headstock; Maccaferri in metal and circular plastic disc with coat of arms and M.M. all on metal tailpiece; sticker Made of Styron on soundboard



345 mm


130 mm



c 1953


Produced in the USA in the early 1950s.



Bought by the Powerhouse Museum in 1954 as an example of plastics construction and design.


Credit Line

Gift of the French American Reeds Mfg Co Inc, USA through Swift & Co Ltd Sydney, 1954

Acquisition Date

28 September 1954

Cite this Object


Arch-top guitar 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 12 December 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Arch-top guitar |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=12 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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