- acoustic guitars
- bass guitars
- classical guitars
- electric guitars
- lap steel guitars
- double bass
The Kay Musical Instrument Company was formed in 1931 when Henry "Kay" Kuhrmeyer acquired Stromberg-Voisinet which been making instruments since the 1890s. Initially Kay offered traditional folk instruments, but eventually they made all sorts of stringed instruments including: violins, cellos, banjos, upright basses, and guitars. Kay made Spanish style acoustics, Hawaiian lap steels, hollowbody acoustic-electrics, and solidbody electrics
Some of Kay distrubuted instruments under various brand names - including their budget Knox and Kent brands. Kay's top of the range brand was Gold K. Kay also made house brand guitars for department stores and catalogue retailers including: 'Old Kraftsman' guitars for Spiegel, 'Sherwood' and 'Airline' for Montgomery Wards, and 'Silvertone' for Sears.
Following Kuhrmeyer's retirement in 1955, Kay focused more on electric instruments. It was eventually sold to Valco in 1967 but was dissolved in 1968 and its assets sold off. Weiss Musical Instruments (importers of Teisco guitars) aquired the Kay brand name and sold Japanese made Kay guitars in the 1970s. In 1980 the Kay brand name was bought by AR Musical Enterprises of Fishers, Indiana. More recently it is used by the Kay Guitar Company, a Californian importer of guitars and other musical instruments. Roger Fritz also makes Kay vintage reissues.