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Thread: Can anyone identify this instrument?

  1. #1
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Can anyone identify this instrument?

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    The woman with the instrument is my grandmother. The year was 1915 or so. It could well have been in the area that it now Russia or the Ukraine or even Poland. At first I thought that it was Russian tenor banjo, but then I saw it had it had eight strings. Now I'm confused.
    belbein

    “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    It looks like a mandolin banjo, also called a banjolin. I'm a little surprised at the year but the instrument is well known on these pages. The interesting thing is that it appears that it might be an American made instrument.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=mand...w=1920&bih=916

    https://www.google.com/search?client...67.oRiabBfSaHk
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    The picture enlarged a bit.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    I guess it could have been taken after she got to the US. The place could have been misidentified, but zi think the year is digit within 5 years or so.
    belbein

    “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  7. #5
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    Wikipedia on "mandolin banjo": "Inventors were experimenting to create amplified instruments in the days before electric amplification.[2] The first patent for a mandolin-banjo was taken out in 1882 by Benjamin Bradbury of Brooklyn.[2] The name banjolin was first patented by John Farris in 1885.[2] The instrument was popularized prior to the 1920s, when the tenor banjo became more popular. In the heyday of mandolin orchestras and banjo bands (late 19th–early 20th century), all sorts of instruments were produced. The mandolin-banjo is one of the hybrids that resulted. It enabled mandolinists to produce a banjo sound without having to learn that instrument's fingerings. The instrument adds the banjo's volume to the mandolin... "
    belbein

    “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  8. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    5 years would bring it up to about where I figured it should be. The mandolin was losing favor, the banjo was taking over. Banjo mandolins were a way for mandolin players to move into the banjo world. It's too bad you don't have the instrument to go with the picture, that would be really cool. It's a nice picture.

    By the way, I think that picture might be on board a ship or a ferry. It looks pretty nautical.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

    looks like a Slingerland MB?

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