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Airline (brand)

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Company typeBrand
IndustryConsumer electronics
Founded1926 Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
North America
ParentMontgomery Ward
Jack White (The White Stripes) playing red Montgomery Ward Airline Res-O-Glas (a.k.a. J. B. Hutto, Jetsons)[1]

Airline was a store brand of consumer electronics and musical instruments originally marketed and sold by American retailer Montgomery Ward via their catalog and retail stores. Products included radios, televisions, record players, guitars and amplifiers. In the early 2000s, Eastwood Guitars acquired the rights to use the "Airline" brand-name.

Musical equipment[edit]

1962 Airline Town and Country (refinished)

The Airline brand was used by Montgomery Ward on a range of electric and acoustic guitars from 1958 to 1968. These were made in Chicago, Illinois, by the Valco Manufacturing Co., Kay Musical Instrument Company, and Harmony Company.[2] Airline-branded amplifiers were manufactured by Valco and Danelectro.

Valco Airline guitars have been played by a wide array of bands and artists, including: Jack White,[3][1] J. B. Hutto,[1] David Bowie, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Calexico, and Wooden Shjips.

Eastwood Guitars reissue[edit]

After Eastwood Guitars purchased rights to the "Airline" trade name in the early 2000s, they reissued the early 1960s "JB Hutto" Airline shape as the "Airline DLX." The new version set aside the defining hollow fiberglass body of the Valco-made original[4] in favor of the simpler and less-costly chambered mahogany body, giving it a more traditional electric guitar feel and tone, rather than the unique playing feel and response of the original.[5][6]

Eastwood Guitars later released the "Airline '59 Custom" in two- and three-pickup models in December 2008, which come with striped pickguards and rubber-bound bodies, in the spirit of the originals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dave Hunter (2013). "1964 Airline Res-O-Glas". 365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play - The Most Sublime, Bizarre and Outrageous Gear Ever. Voyageur Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-61058-794-5. Prior to the late 1990s, this guitar might have been known—to the relatively few players who took a real interest—as the "J. B. Hutto model" after the Chicago bluesman who made one his main squeeze for many years. One glance at that synthetic red beauty today, though, and you're likely to declare, "Hey, that's Jack White's guitar!" Although White has played other electrics, the Airline Res-O-Glas is the one with which White Stripes fans most closely associate him. And it makes sense: this oddly shaped, molded fiberglass creation (also dubbed the "Jetsons model," understandably) is perfect representation of the White Stripes' music and garage rock in general ... We're not sure quite what the actual sales figures were, but wouldn't you love to know just how many kids in the early 1960s flipped through that Montgomery Ward Catalog (where these guitars were originally retailed), pointed to the space-aged red beauty on the page, and said, "I'm having that for Christmas!"
  2. ^ Electric Guitars: the Illustrated Encyclopedia Edited by Tony Bacon. San Diego: Thunder Bay, 2000. Pp. 18 & 242.
  3. ^ Robinson, Mike (April 14, 2014). MyRareGuitars.com. Retrieved October 7, 2014
  4. ^ Electric Guitars: the Illustrated Encyclopedia Edited by Tony Bacon. San Diego: Thunder Bay, 2000. Pp. 18 & 243.
  5. ^ "White Heat: the White Stripes' 21st Century Blues" by Darrin Fox. Guitar Player Magazine, edited by Michael Molenda, June 2003, Pp.72.
  6. ^ "The House That Jack Built" by Christopher Scapelliti. Guitar World Magazine, edited by Brad Tolinski, May 2004, Pp.150.

External links[edit]

Media related to Airline Guitars at Wikimedia Commons