I’ve always associated coconut ukuleles with tacky tourist ukes. But here’s a Cox’s Cocolele from 1937; the year it was invented. You can see the patent here. Turns out old Coxy didn’t intend them as a cheap souvenir but a vast improvement over the heretofore crappy sounding ukulele.
Heretofore ukeleles have been made of mahogany, ohia, monkey-pod or redwood and, in spite of the exhaustive efforts made, fine tonal qualities have not been obtained.
It is therefore the principle object of my invention to produce a ukelele having fine tone, and I accomplish this by constructing a substantial portion of the main body of the ukelele from cocoanut shells.
Strange how that didn’t work out.
Sedlacek Jazz Ukulele
I was quite interested in the Blackbird Carbon Fiber ukulele being a uke impervious to heat and moisture (even if it doesn’t sound that great). But the $1,300 price tag makes it much less appealing.