The “frying pan
” in 1931/1932 was the first electric lap steel guitar ever produced, and one of the earliest electric guitar, along with the Stromberg Electro
in 1928. George Beauchamp created the instrument in 1931, and it was subsequently manufactured by Rickenbacker Electro
. The instrument—officially the Rickenbacker Electro A-22
—earned its nickname because its circular body and long neck make it resemble a frying pan
It was designed to cash in on the popularity of Hawaiian music in the 1930s. The instrument was made of cast aluminum, and featured a pickup that incorporated a pair of horseshoe magnets that arched over the strings. Beauchamp and machinist Adolph Rickenbacker began selling the Frying Pan in 1932, but Beauchamp was not awarded a patent
for his idea until 1937, which allowed other guitar companies to produce electric guitars in the same period.