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Thread: Identify Vintage Mandolin Banjo

  1. #1

    Default Identify Vintage Mandolin Banjo

    I need help identifying an early 1900's Mandolin Banjo. It has a metal tone ring that sits on round head tacks. Does anyone know who made this?
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  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify Vintage Mandolin Banjo

    Headstock shape looks kinda Stromberg to me, but I don't know what tone ring (if any) Stromberg used In mandolin-banjos.

    You might also try a banjo website like Banjo Hangout. Real banjo experts who can probably tell more than I can from features like tuners, inlays etc.
    Allen Hopkins
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  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify Vintage Mandolin Banjo

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Headstock shape looks kinda Stromberg to me, but I don't know what tone ring (if any) Stromberg used In mandolin-banjos.

    You might also try a banjo website like Banjo Hangout. Real banjo experts who can probably tell more than I can from features like tuners, inlays etc.
    I don't see Stromberg (Chas. or -Voisenet) in the headstock. It actually looks like the same headstock used on turn of the last century Washburn bowlback mandolins. I just looked in Hubert's Washburn book and on page 171 he mentions in 1913 Lyon & Healy introduced new banjo styles with something they called the "Combination Patent Truss" with a tone ring resting on spikes.

    The tone ring was actually patented in 1908 by William D. Bohnenberger who was not associated with L&H. You can view the patent here.

    Very interesting that they used that headstock which doesn't appear in Hubert's book on any banjo that I can see.
    Jim

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Identify Vintage Mandolin Banjo

    Thank you Jim, That is great information. Probably as close as I'm going to get. The seller put bubble wrap around it and sent it in a paper bag, so the finger extension broke off. I was able to repair it and level out the fret board and put in new frets. With a med goat skin and a bridge that I made, it came out really nice. It plays really loud with low action and no buzzing. I think my mandolin playing son will like it!
    On to the next project for him, replacing a fret board on a 1907 Gibson A mandolin. I'll be replacing the walnut one with ebony and EVO fret wire.

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