Answering the question "Who made Leo Master branded string instruments?"
Hello Everyone! Didn't realize you were looking for this info. My name is Aimee Ellis, I am the Great-Granddaughter of Mr. Aaron Burdwise, proprietor of Burdwise Musical Merchandise company, which stopped operating circa 1930. I can tell you as the Burdwise Family historian that Mr. Aaron Burdwise was the original proprietor of Leo Master branded string instruments but the brand was sold around the time the company stopped operating.
I have proof he owned the brand as part of his larger company, Burdwise Musical Merchandise (we have paperwork from the time of his company noting it's a trademarked brand he owned, among numerous other brands). However, I have not published this proof online yet because I want to write an article and share it with a publication. If anyone wants to work with me on developing the article, I am not a player and would love your help!
If you google Aaron Burdwise, you'll find an article about him I wrote on his life's work, the Burdwise company.
Edited by - Aimee Burdwise on 08/23/2019 08:39:17
Bill Rogers (Moderator)
Did the company make the instruments, or were they simply carry the Leo Master brand?
The company did both, sold and owned all kinds of products and lines, from high to low end, so I'm not sure what exactly the case was with Leo Master. Mr. Burdwise was also an inventor who owned numerous patents, known for selling rare, beautifully adorned instruments.
There is one early (I think?) version of a Leo Master guitar that has a double body and metal punchout adornments going around the border of the face, I don't believe any other producers made a model like this but don't know with certainty. That model at least I believe Mr. Burdwise was involved in the development and production of, my family has a collection of all types of Burdwise produced instruments and it looks like a Burdwise creation to me, has that touch to it. The later models not so much.
More research is definitely needed. I also know his branding very well. He spoke Le Esperanto and numerous other languages, so I believe Leo Master meant "Lion Master", hence the circus themed colors in the early model labels / branding. In any event, there was no one named Leo in the creation of this branding, just Aaron Burdwise :-)
Edited by - Aimee Burdwise on 08/23/2019 12:54:15
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