The August 19, 1916 edition of Music Trade Review contains the following article on page 47:
NEW USE FOR STEEL GUITAR
Instrument Found to be Excellent for the Making of Talking Machine Records – Another Hawaiian Instrument Soon to be on the Market
A new steel guitar called the “Dreadnought” and said to produce the biggest tone of any instrument of its kind, is now being used in the making of phonograph records. It is also said to be an excellent instrument for use in auditoriums and large halls. Chas. H. Ditson & Co. will soon have the instrument ready for delivery and at the same time will introduce to the American public another Hawaiian instrument never before used to any extent in this country, called the Taropatch, a Hawaiian “fiddle”. H. L. Hunt, manager of the musical merchandise department of the Ditson store, left Thursday for Boston and after several days’ stay will make a tour of the larger cities of the West. His trip will include a visit to the new Lyon & Healy store in Chicago. The tour is Mr. Hunt’s annual pilgrimage in the quest of new ideas and includes both business and pleasure.
In this article Hunt makes the earliest known comment on the “Dreadnought” guitar and its intended use. The prototype Ditson Dreadnought, a D-222 (serial number 71), was shipped to Ditson on August 9, 1916 , so Hunt must have been talking about this guitar in the article above.