JW Black was taught the basics of guitar building in the mid 1970s at his home shop in Bethlehem, PA.He worked in a local Allentown, Pennsylvania Music Store doing repairs and set ups until he found work in Kansas City in 1980 at Swift Music Repair , where they did all aspects of guitar repair and building .it may be more labor intensive but the end result is worth the extra effort...i do this as a "Labor Of Love" !!!
While there he also moonlighted for Rudy's Music Stop where John Suhr ran Rudy's repairs and building.
From 1989 to 2002 he worked as a Master Builder for the Fender Custom Shop .
I believe at different times, they were made in Chicago and in East Brunswick, New Jersey by the National Musical String Company, which may have had an affiliation with the Harmony Company.
I think they were probably still available with the same design into the early 1970s or maybe even later.
One guitar had these old strings in the case: I referred them to Black Diamond and they were kind enough to provide the following comment: "It is hard to tell exactly the decade the vintage strings were made because they used the red envelope package for many, many years.
My wild guess would be 30's or 40's." [Source: Black Diamond, email 29/9/2008] When I started playing in the mid-1960s, these strings, with the same package design as in your photos, were the "least common denominator" as the cheapest and most widely distributed. The brand name came from the synthetic diamond dies the wire was drawn through.He left California in 2002 and now lives in Oregon, doing pre-1969 Fender restorations for select Vintage Guitar Dealers around the country and paint aged bodies and necks for other guitars builders .He also build traditionally influenced Fender style instruments , with modern touches for his friends in Japan.These one-off Restored Vintage Beauties are built using a Handmade European Archtop from the 1950s as a chassis, which I then structurally re-engineer and electrify to rival or surpass classic Vintage Gretsch designs.TIN-TONE Guitars are a range of innovative Metal-Bodied Resonator Guitars, launched 2009.Dating Black Diamond Custom guitars All my headstocks are stamped "USA MADE" any totally hand built headstocks are stamped "BD USA" as of 2013 from 2008 to 2011 some series guitars such as PSTV (Paul Stanley Tribute V's KISS) are stamped in one of the pickup pockets with a three digit serial number e.g. ALL guitars built or re-built in my shop have a Black Diamond TRC installed.