The Dobro name originated in 1928 once the Dopyera brothers started the Dobro Manufacturing Company. "Dobro" is both a truncation of "Dopyera brothers" and a word meaning "goodness" in their native Slovak language. An early business slogan was "Dobro means good in any language."
The Dobro was the 3rd resonator guitar model by John Dopyera, the inventor of the resonator guitar, but the second to go into production. As opposed to his early tricone design, the Dobro had a sole resonator cone and it also was inverted, having its concave surface area facing up. The Dobro company described this as being a bowl shaped resonator.
The Dobro was even louder ın comparison to the tricone and cheaper to make. Price of manufacture had, in Dopyera's opinion, priced the resonator guitar outside of the grasp of a lot players, and the inability to influence his fellow directors of the National String Instrument Corporation to make a single-cone version was an important part of his inspiration for leaving.
Since National had went for a patent for the single cone (US patent number 1,808,756), Dopyera needed to develop a substitute design, which he did by inverting the cone to ensure that rather than having the strings sit over the top of the cone as the National method did, they rested on a cast aluminum spider which had 8 legs seated on the outside of the downward-pointing cone (US patent number 1,896,484).
In the following years both Dobro and National built a wide variety of metal- and wood-bodied single-cone guitars, though National additionally continued with the tricone for a while. The two companies sourced a lot of parts from National director Adolph Rickenbacher, and Mr. Dopyera carried on as an important investor in National. By 1934 the Dopyera brothers had acquired control over both National and Dobro so they combined the businesses to form the National-Dobro Corporation.
From the beginning, real wood bodies were procured from current guitar makers, specifically the plywood learner guitar bodies made by the Regal Guitar Company. Dobro had given Regal a license to make resonator instruments, and by 1937, it was the sole maker, and the license was officially made exclusive. Regal produced resonator instruments continued to be sold under numerous brands, including Regal, Dobro, Old Kraftsman, and Ward. Nonetheless all manufacture of resonator guitars ceased after the US entrance into world war ii in 1941.
Emil Dopyera (also called Ed Dopera) manufactured Dobros from 1959 using the brand name Dopera's Original before reselling the organization and brand to Semie Moseley, who merged it with his Mosrite guitar company and produced Dobros for a time. At the same time, in 1967, Rudy and Emil Dopyera formed the Original Musical Instrument Company to make resonator guitars, which were in the beginning branded Hound Dog. Nonetheless, in 1970, they yet again obtained the Dobro brand, Mosrite having gone into temporary liquidation.
OMI, along with the Dobro brand, was acquired by the Gibson Guitar Company in 1993. Gibson then renamed the organization Original Acoustic Instruments and migrated production to Nashville. Gibson currently uses the label Dobro just for styles using the inverted-cone design used initially by the Dobro Manufacturing Organization. In addition, Gibson produces biscuit-style single-resonator guitars, but it markets them under names such as Hound Dog and Epiphone. One of the all-time most popular models is the National Resonator.