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
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.
been the case in 1954, the only electric bass Carvin carried in '55 was
made by Fender.
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.
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