The Ovation Breadwinner electric guitar is a fine example of an ergonomic design incorporating both good balance and excellent picking arm support. Interestingly, it has not gotten the attention given to the Klein electric guitar. Only in production from 1972 through 1979, the design predated the Klein electric guitar by about a decade.
Even a cursory look at the two designs reveals a striking similarity. So much so that according to this Vintage Guitar Magazine article, Ovation considered legal action against Klein. In the end, Ovation decided against it in light of the company’s lack of success with solid body electric guitars.
What I found truly striking about the Breadwinner was its designer’s revelation that its ergonomic design was somewhat of an accident! According to The Ovation Breadwinner Fanpage’s The Designer Writes, the “idea was to make it resemble a medieval battle axe because musicians at that time often referred to their instruments as their ‘axe’.” However, the designer goes on to state that the easy upper fret access and comfortable position while sitting were intentional. Fortunately, he struck on a shape that delivered on ergonomics and to which the Klein electric guitar has at least a debt of gratitude.