1930s Favilla-made P'Mico Collegiate Ukulele

Update 2016: I've discovered the maker of this uke -- Favilla! Here's a 40s Favilla soprano that's extremely similar in build style -- especially the odd heel shape -- but different in body shape.

Here's the uke from the below post all spruced up. This is a P'Mico brand ("Progressive Musical Instrument Company") uke. Most of these were built in the 30s-40s, but my bet on this one is that it's an early to mid 1930s uke as it bears the "Collegiate" brand name seen on other instruments (and a number of songbooks and whatnot) from the same time. It also bears a nice old green-font label that looks a little more vintage. The good news? I thought this was a birch uke when I bought it. When I took it out of the box, to my surprise, this is a wide-body soprano with all-mahogany construction, a mahogany fretboard, and fancy 3-ply binding. Original bakelite tuners also point to an earlier date.

Headstock, showing nicely grained mahogany.

Collegiate decal. New washers.

Three pearl dots on the mahogany board with newly-dressed/polished frets and some Worth brown strings.

Nice sculpted extension. Check out the binding! Fun.

Nice sturdy bridge with profiled back.

Soundhole and binding detail. Pretty good grain. This uke is a bit wider than any in my own collection and feels almost like a "dreadnought" among sopranos from this time.


Fun label in a medium green font.

Side view.


Back has some previous old repairs and previous separation which I've mended to make secure.

Bakelite tuners. I've added some thick plastic washer/bases left over from modern tuners. These help the bakelite pegs turn nice and smoothly and cushion them from wear. They're also unobtrusive.

Other side.

Some nice grain in the neck and an interesting squared-cut heel. I like.

The sides are all one piece which looks very classy.


Danny said…
Hello Jake,
That's a beautiful Favilla made uke. You mention how it feels larger--I'm curious: Did you happen to record or remember the scale length?
I recently acquired a very similar P'Mico Collegiate; mine lacks the binding around the top and interestingly has an arch-top, but with a glued on bridge. 21 1/2" length and 13 3/4' scale--a concert perhaps?
Your site is fantastic--a treasure trove of information. I really appreciate the work you've put into it.
kind regards
Unknown said…
Can you help me with the provenance of my ukulele? My mother was born in Hawai'i in 1915, and I think maybe that's where/when it came from, but I'd really like to know more about it. This comment box wouldn't let me copy and paste the picture of it. It's a little, tiny, dark brown uke with wooden tuning keys; sticker inside says P'MICO. Thank you in advance!