Welson – Orlando Quagliardi

by Jack Marchal

The trade name Welson belonged to a Castelfidardo-based accordion making company founded by Orlando Quagliardi in 1921.

The company was among the very first ones to enter guitar manufacturing in the area. I’ve seen old Welson acoustic archtops, quite similar to mid-50’s German-made instruments, that looked as old as the earliest examples of Eko 100.

Its first electric solidbodies (1962-1964) make Welson appear to be some kind of a subsidiary to the Bartolini-Gemelli galaxy, though some details betray a care of seriousness that put those guitars apart and is typical of Welson. After 1964 the initial design evolves without discontinuity towards a second generation of generally sunburst finished solidbodies, equipped with more conventional controls than the previous pushbuttons stripes… [continue]