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Thread: Columbia mandolins

  1. #1
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    A friend of mine has a Columbia mandolin that belonged to his grandfather and I'm pretty sure its over a hundred years old. Does anyone know anything about these? Can they still be played? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    There was Columbia, Columbian and Columbus mandolins. It might be better to get your friend to supply some digital pictures. Was this a bowlback or a flatback?

    This is a flatback Columbia mandolin probably sold by Tonk Brothers.

    Jim
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    Thank you for your post. I'm in the process of getting some photos now.
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    Here are some photos of my friends Columbia. It is a flatback and is not as nice a model as the one shown by you, jgarber, but I'm wondering if it's worth getting restored. How do these Columbia mandos sound? His has a crack in the back that would have to get repaired. Any info or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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    Ok, lets try this one more time. Hopefully the photo will be attached.
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    More photos.
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    One more!
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  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Looks like a simple flatback made in Chicago prob by Regal. I see similar ones in my Lyon & Healy catalogs from 1920, 1924 and 1925. THey are under different names including Lakeside which is L&H's lowend line.

    Jim
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    Thanks for the info, Jim! In your opinion are they worth restoring?

    Thanks,
    Michael
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  10. #10
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    I'm no expert, but I'd probably be willing to pay $100 for repairs, based on the photos posted. After hands on evaluation maybe more, maybe less, or none.
    Reminds me of my "Victoria, B&J, New York" which is a sweet little "parlor" instrument, though a different brand of similar vintage & construction.



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    Thanks, Mando. I'll let you know if anything comes of this and it gets restored. Was this mandolin sold through Sears and Robuck?

    Thanks,
    Michael
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  12. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    This looks like one of those mandolins sold to various places for sale under numerous names. Here is one under the Perfacktone (yes that is the correct spelling) label sold by P'Mico which is the Progressive Musical Instrument Company in NY around 1925.

    Jim
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    Yep, it sure looks like the same mandolin. Any idea who could have been manufacturing them? Also, did you find the ad on the internet somewhere or do you just have a fantastic archive?
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  14. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (fmwester @ Jan. 12 2007, 16:48)
    Yep, it sure looks like the same mandolin. Any idea who could have been manufacturing them? Also, did you find the ad on the internet somewhere or do you just have a fantastic archive?
    I would say most likely Harmony from others I have seen.

    I have big piles of original old catalogs plus photocopies of mandolin pages from other sources. I was fortunate to buy the latter when they were affordable. Nowadays I work out trading deals for photocopies.

    Jim



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    Thanks for all your help in identifying this mandolin. My friend has decided to get it restored.
    We may never know this much again.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    Here's another Columbia ... maybe. It has a Columbia label inside, but whatever it is, it has been refinished, and not expertly. The tuners are on backwards, as well. Can anyone tell me anything about this mandolin? I've been asked to sell it as part of an estate sale, and much as I assume it's a wall hanger, I thought I'd better check with the experts.Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    Again, it's a Regal Reverse Scroll model made Regal in Chicago.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    The Columbia brand name appears to have been used by a few distributors. This list probably isn't complete.

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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    I have one with the tag "LYRA" on a tag on the headstock. i bought it because I thought it was the funniest mandolin I had ever seen. It restored to a decent player but but certainly nothing special. I guess it is supposed to look like a lyr... kinda, maybe, or maybe not.
    Bart McNeil

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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    Regarding above post... I have no idea why I commented the above. Obviously has no relation to the mandolin under discussion.

    Please disregard.
    Bart McNeil

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Columbia mandolins

    Ive got to stop drinking!!!! Just disregard all my posts.
    Bart McNeil

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