The direct ancestor
of the electric guitar, the lap steel, was the end result of an inspirational metal bolt on a guitar string in the hands of Joseph Kekuku, the Hawaiian generally credited as the father of the Hawaiian, or lap steel guitar.

From those humble acoustic beginnings, the lap steel was electrified in the early 1930s by Bob Dunn.

Sears offered a variety of lap steels over the years, mostly made by Harmony and Valco/National.

Don Helms, the innovative pioneering steel player for Hank Williams  learned his first weeping notes on a Silvertone.