Emil, the salesman, showed the prototype guitar to dealers in southern California and took the first orders.Two other brothers, Louis and Bob, helped finance the venture.
An early California instrument can be identified by square slot-ends in the headstock, coverplate screws in the points of numbers on a clock, and the lack of a dot at the 17th fret. By 1933 Dobro moved the screws to the half-hour points so a repairman could open a guitar without removing the tailpiece.
Dobro introduced the Model 76, with a bound birch body and inlaid celluloid trademark, but made few of them.
The Model 85 became the Model 86, with engraving added on the coverplate.
Dobro’s tenor guitar came in three models, the 50, 75, and 100, with details corresponding to the Models 56, 76, and 106.
On the extreme high end was Dobro’s Model 206, with a spruce top, walnut back and sides, gold-plated and engraved hardware, and five-ply binding with a layer of gold sparkle in the center.