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Post new topic “Stratocaster”----what's the origin of that name?
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Author Topic:  “Stratocaster”----what's the origin of that name?
Mitch Drumm

Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 6:32 am    
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I was pondering Hawaii and my first trip there on one of the planes shown below.

A Boeing Stratocruiser operated by Pan American.

First test flown in 1947 and a primary means of transport to and from Hawaii through the 1950s.

Same wings and engines as a B-29, but expanded to double-decker passenger form.

112 cylinders, 14,000 horsepower, and 4.11 gears that can really get lost. All hail Mister Pratt and Mister Whitney.

I’ll bet you that Freddie Tavares spent time on one, going back and forth to Honolulu. Maybe Leo too.

So, I’m wondering if the guitar name was inspired by the name of the plane.

Has anyone researched this? I saw a brief mention on a Fender forum, but it generated little interest and came to no conclusions.

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Barry Blackwood

Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 9:01 am    
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Mitch Drumm

Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 9:35 am    
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Thanks for that link, Barry. I'd seen another link on that forum, but not that one.

I guess the truth is lost to history.

According to your link, Duchossoir's book on Fender says .....it is "assumed" that the name was coined by Leo Fender.....as a derivative of "stratospheric", while others contend there is a specific Boeing connection and that the name "apparently" came from Fender marketing director Don Randall.

The Stratocruiser flew months before the Boeing B-47 Stratojet and years before the B-52 Stratofortress.

I'd guess there is a Boeing connection to the guitar name, but we likely won't know for sure.

I'd prefer to think that Tavares was in on it.
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Tony Prior

Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 12:07 pm    
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I guess it could have been called the Boeingcaster Rolling Eyes
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Jerry Overstreet

Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 12:35 pm    
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The actual reason seems to be sketchy with a lot of theories. My guess is it may be due to all the terminology as the jet age began about that time.
Strato being short for stratosphere, the airline industry and the Air Force referencing same.

Fender already had the Telecaster, the prefix probably from the electronics communication area, and the "caster" from the original Broadcaster. That name was likely taken from radio terminology about transmitting radio signals.

A couple years prior to the Stratocaster was Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West and the recording Stratosphere Boogie.

Aeronautical terms were quite popular in use about then.

As to the Stratocruiser, I remember being at Travis AFB where in cargo configuration it was called the Stratofreighter C97 and also as the KC97 Stratofreighter edition in-flight refueling tanker.

They were on the way out then though as the jet powered KC135 Stratotanker was replacing them to keep up with the B52 Stratofortress..

Lots of inference to the stratosphere for sure...and quite possibly the aircraft of the time may have influenced the name Stratocaster....but I don't really know. Arrow

4:11 gears..Ha Laughing I did a little maintenance on a few aircraft, but never serviced a differential drive on one. Laughing
Cool photos Mitch.
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John De Maille

On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2018 3:00 pm    
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If we could get in touch with Jody Carver, he might have some insight on this.
He worked for Leo Fender for a long time and I'm sure he has a lot of knowledge about the transitions.
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