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Czechoslovakia's biggest contribution to American guitar building was of course made by John Dopyera.

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The company was called DOBRO for DOpyera BROthers, but the word also means "good" in the Slovak language.

Dobro was eventually purchased by National, which in turn became part of the Valco company, which went bust in 1968, but that's a separate story.

“Single-cutaway Valco Res-O-Glas guitars came in many flavors,” Ivankovich says.

“The basic models were the Holiday and the Sahara, which evolved into the more elegant Coronado, Val Trol, and Martinique models.

(The Dobro features a different resonating device, a single bowl-shaped resonator, which Dopyera developed but kept from National.) The Dobro name is a mash-up of “Dopyera” and “brother,” and which also means “good” in Slovak, the brothers’ native language.

Dopyera retained some National ownership rights and responsibilities, and there was what we would now call “co-opetition” between the companies.

Valco created the Supro brand, applying it to Regal- and Harmony-built student acoustic models.

They later used the Supro brand on electrics, amps, and bass guitars.

We do know this much: Before there was Valco, there was the National Stringed Instrument Corp., a California-based manufacturer of resonator guitars dating back to the ’20s, and the Dobro Manufacturing Co.

National created steel-bodied guitars, notably the “tri-cone,” which used three resonating metal cones to amplify the sound, and the “biscuit,” which featured a single resonating cone.

The Bohemia region is renowned for string instrument manufacture.

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