1955 Carvin Catalog Cover



The electric bass just started to gain acceptance in the mid-fifties, and although Carvin didn't produce their own model in 1955, that day would arrive within a few years.

Early Carvin Literature

1955 Guitars

1955 Guitar Amps

1955 Bass Amps

1955 also marked Carvin's last year at Baldwin Park, California.  In 1956, the headstock decals and the catalog would list Covina, California as Carvin's home base.

The cover of the catalog showed a Carvin steel guitar, and Lowell Kiesel's wife, Agnes, playing a Fender Telecaster.

Click each picture for a larger version.

As had been the case in 1954, the only electric bass Carvin carried in '55 was made by Fender. Carvin offered the Precision Bass, in natural finish with maple neck and black pickguard, for $199.50, with an optional Fender hardshell case for an additional $39.95.

1955 Fender Precision Bass
1955 Carvin Accordions

If a guitar, steel guitar or bass wasn't your thing, you could also order a Carvin accordion.  These were evidently sold under the Carvin name, but the catalog stated that they were actually made by a famous Italian manufacturer, although it didn't say who that was.  In later years, Carvin sold accordions made by Sonola, so it's possible that is who made these models as well.

As had been the case since the beginning of Carvin's mail order business (and ever since), the first page of the catalog was reserved for an introductory letter, which served to primarily address Carvin's direct versus retail pricing advantages.

1955 Carvin Intro Letter