Between 1916 and 1921 Martin made a special line of guitars for Charles H. Ditson & Co. in New York. These guitars had a wide-waisted design since they were meant to played Hawaiian style and the normal narrow waist was no longer necessary. These guitars did not have a flat fingerboard or high saddle as later Hawaiian guitars but were supplied with a nut extender, so they could be easily converted between Spanish and Hawaiian playing.
Martin gave Ditson guitars their own serial numbers. A total of 571 Ditson guitars were made with these unique serial numbers.
Serial number 491 was ordered on March 19, 1919 and shipped on July 18, 1919.
A total of twelve Ditson 1-28 guitars were made, all at about the same time. Although the features of the Ditson 1-28 are identical to the normal style 28 features there is at least one simplification. The usual fingerboard inlays are Japan pearl "squares and diamonds" with saw cut slots. In the case of this guitar the "squares" are not slotted.
This guitar was found in practically "as-new" condition, even the case had scarcely a mark on it.
All Ditson guitars received a special "OLIVER DITSON CO. BOSTON NEW YORK" stamp on the back of the headstock.
Style 28 features:
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)
Binding: White ivoroid
Backstripe: Zig-zag pattern
Other vintage features:
Three-strut fan bracing pattern
Ebony neck reinforcement
Ebony pyramid bridge
No style stamp