c.1925 L&H Washburn Style E Tenor Banjo

UPDATE #2: After checking out some Washburn style E photos on the web, I found they definitely do not have tone rings. So, that's what this fellow is! I've updated the post title.

A blog follower mentioned that this looks identical to a Washburn style E tenor. I concur wholeheartedly, though I'm not sure if the branded Washburn E has a hoop tonering or not.

As evidenced by the L&H patent tuners and serial/model numbers stamped on the dowel, this tenor banjo was made by Lyon & Healy, probably around c.1925-30. It has a full 22 3/4" scale length and features construction similar to many "American Conservatory" products of theirs I've seen.

It doesn't have a tonering but the rim top is shaped into a wedge that acts like a tonering. Volume is great, and because it doesn't have that typical brass/steel hoop tonering, the tone is sweet and decidedly not "pingy" or thin.

My work included cleaning, hardware cleaning (it's grungy still, but nowhere near as grungy as it was), fret dress, and setup. I also installed a replacement Remo Renaissance head, parts-bin '20s tailpiece, and replacement bridge (this one is a vintage Kay-style one from the 40s or 50s).

This 'jo plays nicely with a fast neck, as well.

MOP dots, "ebonized" board.

Mostly original hardware -- two hook/nut/shoe sets are different (though they're 1920s/30s hardware). Note the peculiar round shoes on this banjo.

For friction pegs, these L&H-patent pegs aren't bad at all.

Good sturdy neck brace.

Simple closed-top Grover Presto tailpiece.


karl said...

Looks a lot like my Washburn style E tenor banjo - pot, headstock, shoes, heel and all. No coincidence, since they're next of kin.

Antebellum Instruments said...

Good call!

The only difference it seems to me between this and an E is that the E looks like it has a hoop tonering? Or am I mistaken?

Thanks for the info!