5/03/2013

c.1920 Unmarked 8" Rim Banjo Ukulele




At first I thought this instrument might have been made by Oscar Schmidt in Jersey City, but upon further reflection (no pinholes in the fretboard to hold it down while gluing, non-OS-style varnish options), I'm not really sure who made this. It was definitely built by some large jobber, though, and it has some similarities to the less-expensive Supertone instruments from the Sears catalog of the 20s.

At any rate, it's a nice banjo uke with that ultra-desirable 8" (vs 6" or 7") head and soprano scale length. This gives it a bigger, warmer, and more projecting tone and dulls down the somewhat heavy-handed highs some banjo ukes get accused of having.

Work included a fret level/dress, new bridge, cleaning, new neck brace shims, replacement tuner parts (all period), and setup. She plays and sounds great!


The cute pearl star in the headstock is the only decorative touch.


Pearl dots, nickel-silver frets.


The original skin head is still in great shape.



All that rim hardware is original, which is nice.



So, this came with 3 matching white tuners and one replacement tuner of an entirely different type. I had a couple black-buttoned tuners of the same type in my parts bin, so I mixed and matched, creating this harlequin tuner assembly.


Good sturdy heel, new rosewood neck brace shims.




The tailpiece is simple but works just fine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very likely a Lyon & Healy, mass produced line. Based on headstock shape and shoe bracket type.