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Thread: Old Bacon

  1. #1

    Default Old Bacon

    Hello all, new to the forum. I inherited my Grandmother's old Bacon mandolin, given to her by my Grandfather. It's a 2 point which I gather is the Artist model. It has the number 351 stamped on the top of the headstock. The label is long gone. I believe it's all original. It probably sat in its case in a closet for 40 or more years and is in absolutely marvelous condition. My local guy cleaned it up, adjusted the bridge and put new strings on it. The intonation and action are great. No cracks anywhere. I'll never be a picker but I love strumming chords on it, the tone is beautiful. Anybody know anything about these, such as the year built or materials used? The grain on the back looks like mahogany but I can't be sure.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Welcome to the Cafe.

    If you can upload a few photos of front and back I'm sure the many experts here will give you a lot of great information about your mandolin.

  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Yes, they were made between 1921 and 1924 by the Bacon Banjo Co. in Groton, Ct. They can be very lovely instruments although they don't have the name recognition of Gibson or Lyon & Healy.
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  4. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Here's a 1924 Bacon catalog with a little more information.
    https://acousticmusic.org/wp-content...24-Catalog.pdf

    There was an earlier catalog (1921?) that I've also seen somewhere but can't find at the moment.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Quote Originally Posted by druid View Post
    It's a 2 point which I gather is the Artist model.
    The two-point is the Professional model. Here is a 1921 ad showing both models.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #6
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Wasn't some of those signed on the label by William Place Jr.? He was a friend of Lloyd Loar wasn't he, I may be mistaken but Gruhn has his Loar F-5 at the moment? Place must've been a monster player back then I'd guess? I've said it before but wouldn't it be nice if we had some recordings of him, Lloyd Loar etc... There isn't any that I know of, it would be nice!

    I just seen the above link to the artist Bacon's and yes Place signed them, too bad your label is missing

  9. #7
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Thanks Jim. The 1924 catalog doesn't show the 4-point Artist model for some reason.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  10. #8

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Thanks everybody for the info. After studying the grain more on the back, it looks more like birch than maple to my eye, which doesn't really jibe with the 1924 catalogue for a Professional Model. But I've been wrong before! I need to get a new computer before I can upload any pics, the old Mac has a problem with IPhoto these days

  11. #9

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    I have a question for you wise folks. I want to replace the old tuners but don't want to have to redrill the headstock. Stewmac makes a restoration tuner for old A style mandolins. Anybody know if they're the same tuners that Gibson used. I have to think that Bacon must have outsourced the hardware rather than produce their own.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    It might be an idea to post a photo of your mandolin tuners. Here is a video from Stewmac- showing that the tuners are worm under the gear type- as in the 1920s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSVAZThkNAI

  13. #11

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Thanks for sharing that video. Mine are the worm under gear tuners so they should fit like a glove.

  14. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Here are the tuners of my 1921 Bacon Artist (on right) alongside the StewMac Golden Age ones. I checked the posts and they seem to be very close.

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    Jim

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  16. #13
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    . . . and I thought we'da heard from Old Sausage by now?

    I'd love to see the photos too! I think these are cool mandolins!

    f-d
    ‘papα gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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  18. #14

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Attachment 180629Attachment 180630Here is my baby, with the Stewmac restoration tuners installed. I'm not sure of the exact year, I've been calling it a '22. They weren't an absolutely perfect fit, the mounting screws didn't line up perfect(toothpick fix) and the holes for the posts needed a little reaming but what a difference as far as tuning and staying in tune. Does anybody else play mandolin fingerstyle? I gave up picks almost 30 years ago when the kids were little and my wife was afraid I'd wake them. That was 27 years before I started playing mandolin. My Martin 12 string really is a cannon, but I haven't used a pick since.

  19. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    druid: your photos are not attached. Click on the third icon from the right above where you are typing and then find each photo on your computer and upload it.
    Jim

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    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  20. #16

    Default Re: Old Bacon

    a second try
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  22. #17
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Druid, you'll be wanting to send that over my way for a more thorough inspection.

    Seriously, I think all of us in this plectral circle (thanks for that advert, Jim!) are happy for you. That's some serious "wow". It is a lovely inheritance!!

  23. #18
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Bacon

    Yep, that’s a fantastic piece to have inherited! Play it, play it a lot!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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