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Inventors Harry Stanley was born in January of 1895 in Harrison, Ohio to Franklin, a blacksmith, and Mary Stanley [1]. In 1920, Harry wa...

Saf-Ti-String Tuners

Inventors

Harry Stanley was born in January of 1895 in Harrison, Ohio to Franklin, a blacksmith, and Mary Stanley [1]. In 1920, Harry was working as a blacksmith likely with his father [2]. He continued in that field and was listed as a laborer in a steel mill in 1940 [3]. He died in 1966 [4]

Vincent J Moir was born in 1902 in Ohio to a railroad worker Joseph Moir and wife Josephine [5]. In 1930, he was a proprietor of a shutter awning company and in 1940 worked in the laundry industry with a key-tag checking system [6][7]. He died in 1987 [8].

The exact circumstances that brought these two men together is unknown and neither appears to have had ties to the musical instrument industry. I have searched high and low and been unable to find any documentation connecting this two men to either Waverly or Kluson. But their innovation is an important part of guitar history and can be seen on the earliest Fender instruments.

The Patent

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The objective of their patent was to propose a solution to two issues which guitar manufacturers and players were suffering from...
The first was that the advent of metal strings meant higher tensions than gut or fiber strings which led to strings slipping out of tune.
The second was that the ends of the metal strings were incredibly sharp and prone to cutting or stabbing the player of the instrument.

Incomplete set of Saf-Ti-String tuners

Their solution was to design a tuning machine that accepted the sharp end of the string and protected the player from being injured. This tuner had a slot cut into the end of the post and a center hole drilled. Two variants were designed, one with a square slot and another with a triangular slot which became smaller as you approached the base. The string would then be cut to size, inserted into the post hole, and wrapped through the slot and around the post. The sharp angle of the slot would lock the string in place and prevent it from slipping as the string was tensioned. This would hide the string end, protecting the player, and also help keep the instrument in tune.

Production

Original Saf-Ti-String tuners have the patent numbers and the design name stamped around one of the screw holes. So far I have not found any 'patent applied for' labelled sets. They appear as 3-on-a-plate sets.


These tuners follow common traits of Waverly tuners including the style of the worm's gear carve, the worm brackets, and the gear itself. The square plates also hint towards a Waverly origin. The button shafts have a spear shape like Klusons. Their exact origin is still uncertain.

Note the Waverly-esque brackets holding the worm

Guitar Prod. Co.

Guitar Prod. Co. was a stamp used on tuners found on some Oahu instruments
Early Saf-Ti-String Design on Guitar Prod Co tuners
Image Credit: Ebay - Lawman-Mike

Oahu tuners with later Saf-Ti-String posts
Image Credit: Reverb - Yooptone Music

Kluson

The patent was set to expire in 1953 but I believe Kluson purchased the rights prior to that date. Kluson began producing "Safe-Ti-String" tuners as early as the 1940s and they were available for most all models of tuning machine that they sold.

The modern incarnation of Kluson currently produces these tuners but refers to the design as the 'safety post' in their modern literature. 

1950 Kluson Catalog Photo
Image Credit: Reverb - Izzy's Vintage Guitars

Kluson 'no-line' tuners with Saf-T-String posts
Image Credit: @notaluthier

Later Patents

Harry and Vincent also patented a set of classical tuners in 1935 using a modified version of their earlier Saf-T-String patent.

Classical Saf-T Tuners
US2094685A [10]

They also patented a metal bridge for acoustic guitars in 1936 which commonly appears on Oahu-brand instruments.
Metal Bolt On Pyramid Bridge
US2029135A[9]

Sources

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Be excellent to each other dudes