A few weeks ago, I started researching a line of guitars that I thought was all but extinct, the full-sized 4-string guitars we used to call "tenor guitars" (almost no relation to the overgrown ukuleles being marketed as "tenor guitars" today).
I discovered that tenor guitars:
Became popular as jazz banjoists began doubling on guitar.
Defined the early sound of jazz guitar, influencing 6-string players along the way.
Failed to have much influence outside of jazz.
Faded from popularity as rock, folk, pop, and country music began to push swing off of the charts.
I also discovered a small but active community of tenor guitar players - folks from all walks of life.
First I documented the history of the tenor guitar as I understood it: http://creekdontrise.com/acoustic/tenor ... guitar.htm
Then I went out looking to see if any of the guitars being marketed as "tenor guitars" today held a candle to the great old instruments. Frankly, none of them do. They're all undersized at best, and promote the impression that tenor guitar is an unimportant "stepping stone" to real guitars. But real tenor guitar players and hopefuls have to get their guitars somewhere, and there aren't many of the great old classic models around. So we added a "buyers' guide" that showed the information we could come up with on some of the more promising models. The link for that is here: http://riverboatmusic.com/guitar/tenor/tenor_guitar.htm
In case you wonder whether tenor guitar was ever a "real instrument," check out this beautiful 1950ish Gibson EGT 150: