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(9) The fall of Mosrite
In the meantime, Semie had obtained a $300,000.00 line of credit with a factory company named Talcot. It was located on Wilshire blvd., Los Angeles. As a result of not receiving any payments from the Ventures, nor from the hundreds of dealers, Talcot also did not get their line of credit paid back. Thus, Mosrite was auctioned off on Valentine's day of 1969. It was a complete auction, including materials, inventory, equipment, office supplies, automobiles and personal items.
NEXT⇒(10) Restart(11) New business(12) The dissolution of the company(13) The fire at Jonas Ridge, North Carolina
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(7) How things were going
Later in 1968, the Ventures had contracted a company to build an amplifier for them to market. After they approved the amplifier, they took it to Semie with the request that he let them put the Mosrite label on the amps which they sold. He agreed to let them use his name for a royalty of $5,000.00. The company who built the Mosrite labeled amplifier did not actually build one single amplifier correctly, after the prototype amplifier was built. There was a faulty part in each one of the amplifiers. However, the Ventures had already sold every one of their dealers 1 to 25 amps.
Semie was now faced with taking over management of the distribution company and satisfying the dealers who had happily and profitably been purchasing Mosrite guitars and accessories for most of the ‘60’s. Semie arranged to sell to the dealers with a 10% discount to compensate for their losses on the amplifiers. The dealers readily agreed to this arrangement. Even though they accepted this offer, they did not pay anything at all for the guitars after they had received them. They simply recovered all their losses they attained at the beginning. Previously they had been very prompt with the 30 day arrangement of payment.
The first NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show that Semie attended was in the summer of 1963, in Chicago. Orders totaling over $85,000.00 were taken for his guitars.
Approximately 150 guitars were built in the years 1963 and 1964, and are now collectors’ items valued and purchased at and over $10,000.00.
By 1964 the company expanded to a 30,000 sq. ft. building in downtown Bakersfield, California. It was turning out 200 to 300 guitars per month. Those guitars were valued at $398.00 each.
In 1965 Semie purchased the Dobro resonator guitar company from one of the owners, Emil Dopyera. Semie owned this company for a few years and merged it with Mosrite to become the manufactures the Dobro Resonating guitar. While Dobro was under the ownership of Mosrite, Semie saw Emil (also known as Ed) showing one of the Dobro guitars at a trade show. Emil Dopyera was becoming quite old, and Semie thought he would just give the Dobro company back to its original owner. Semie had many people angry at him for giving the company back to its original owner. However, Semie thought that when he died, he would want to be the owner of his own company, and he wanted someone else to feel the same way.
During that period of time and the next three years he opened up a print shop, a recording company (Mosrite records) and two publishing companies. He also traveled to Humacao, Puerto Rico, to supervise the beginning of his factory which was being built there.
By 1968, production was up to approximately 975 guitars per month. During 1968 and 1969, Mosrite was also building amplifiers, fuzzrights (distortion units), making straps, picks, strings, etc. Semie had many of his inventions patented, and trademarks/tradenames registered. Mosrite was a very sought after company. Mr. Semie Moseley turned down offers anywhere from one to four million dollars to purchase his company.
(8) The "Mosrite, The Ventures Award Amplifier"