Mudcat Café message #1015795 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62745   Message #1015795
Posted By: Murray MacLeod
09-Sep-03 - 05:59 PM
Thread Name: How old are steel strings?
Subject: RE: How old are steel strings?
Ted, spot on with the provenance of the Telecaster, except that by the time Omar Khayyam got hold of it, it had metamorphosed into the Stratocaster (much more voluptuous contours, and we all know how old Khayyam loved a voluptuous contour ...)

FWIW my theory about early "metal" strings is that they were never metal cored but consisted of gut with exterior metal windings. It should be remembered that early production of wire was almost exclusively for decorative jewellery purposes, and the wire had to be soft enough to wrap into bracelets, necklaces etc.

The wire used in these artefacts would never have possessed the tensile strength to be stretched to pitch on a musical instrument, but may well have been ideal for windings. The techniques required for drawing thin gauge soft metal wire were certainly known in ancient times.

Best of luck with Mr Himmelfarb. Contemporary American abstract expressionism isn't really my bag, but maybe you should look at it as a long term investment?