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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Gad Robinson with unusual tone ring


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/374815

scottq - Posted - 05/05/2021:  08:22:13


I picked up this patent applied for Gad Robinson with an odd tone ring. I believe Robinson’s patent was awarded in March 1891 so I guess that puts this banjo sometime before then.

It also doesn’t seem to fit the bill of either a Fairbanks or Gatcomb, the two companies that are said to have manufactured for Robinson.

From my understanding these banjos had a tone ring similar to the Electric but I’m not sure what’s going on here. Could possibly be an early model or prototype? Anyone have anymore info on these banjos or more specifically this type of tone ring? Thanks!

-Scott








trapdoor2 - Posted - 05/05/2021:  08:44:10


Looks like the "tone ring" conforms to his patent.



patentimages.storage.googleapi...48674.pdf



What does the writing on the neck wedge (metal piece with two screws opposite the heel) say? I see the word "banjo" with something else arched over it. 


Edited by - trapdoor2 on 05/05/2021 08:48:55

scottq - Posted - 05/05/2021:  08:56:09


Oh interesting, every other example I’ve seen has had a scalloped tone ring. Thanks for the patent info! The neck attachment says “Robinson Banjo”

trapdoor2 - Posted - 05/05/2021:  09:07:41


quote:

Originally posted by scottq

Oh interesting, every other example I’ve seen has had a scalloped tone ring. Thanks for the patent info! The neck attachment says “Robinson Banjo”






I thought it might. I've been looking for the patent for it...no luck so far.

scottq - Posted - 05/05/2021:  09:23:15


I’ve also seen Thompson/Odell and Chase thrown out there as possible makers of Robinson banjos but haven’t been able to pinpoint specifics that point to that conclusion. I guess the all metal rim could be considered a link to Thompson/Odell. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a ‘Chase’ banjo and Google searching “Chase Banjo” is just impossible.

Bob Smakula - Posted - 05/05/2021:  10:16:23


quote:

Originally posted by scottq

I’ve also seen Thompson/Odell and Chase thrown out there as possible makers of Robinson banjos but haven’t been able to pinpoint specifics that point to that conclusion. I guess the all metal rim could be considered a link to Thompson/Odell. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a ‘Chase’ banjo and Google searching “Chase Banjo” is just impossible.






A little Chase information is right here on Banjo hangout.



Bob Smakula

scottq - Posted - 05/05/2021:  10:41:30


quote:

Originally posted by Bob Smakula

quote:

Originally posted by scottq

I’ve also seen Thompson/Odell and Chase thrown out there as possible makers of Robinson banjos but haven’t been able to pinpoint specifics that point to that conclusion. I guess the all metal rim could be considered a link to Thompson/Odell. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a ‘Chase’ banjo and Google searching “Chase Banjo” is just impossible.






A little Chase information is right here on Banjo hangout.



Bob Smakula






Bob, thanks for the info! I'm new to the site and boy am I glad to have you all as a resource for information. 

Great looking banjo in that post as well! I hope the restoration went smoothly. 



-Scott 

Jim Bollman - Posted - 05/05/2021:  20:04:09


This is the first Robinson banjo I've seen where the tonering with its circular cutouts conforms to the patent drawings. The earliest Robinson banjos were purportedly made by O.R. Chase although no extant examples are known to me. I'd love to hear of one should it ever surface. Gatcomb and possibly Thompson & Odell made the Robinson banjo necks for Gad although he may have had the rims outsourced since the rims for the Gatcomb-Robinsons and the later Fairbanks made Robinsons are pretty much identical with the exception of the
hardware. Most Gatcomb made Robinsons have Gatcomb as well as Robinson name stamps and tags. I've catalogued a number of serial numbers in the under # 500 range. Perhaps Scott can report if there are serial numbers or other markings besides the metal tag on the banjo. Scott's banjo has a very T & O looking peghead shape and a variant but similar looking two screw neck adjuster to the Luscomb "frog" so it's possible this is a neck supplied by T & O.
O.R.Chase was another Boston maker ( roughly 1882-1888 ). I've seen a handful of these over the years and their quirky all metal rims may have inspired Robinson to design an all metal rim although with the additional tonering. I have a model 3 Chase banjo in the collection - fretless, simple but attractive inlay with an 11" rim and 46 brackets. It listed for $50 in its day.

Helix - Posted - 05/06/2021:  03:57:29


scottq: welcome to the hangout, fun,huh?

I want to HEAR the banjo, I need a little time travel.

This banjo will even help clear the accumulated dust of these dark days.

scottq - Posted - 05/06/2021:  18:23:17


quote:

Originally posted by Jim Bollman

This is the first Robinson banjo I've seen where the tonering with its circular cutouts conforms to the patent drawings. The earliest Robinson banjos were purportedly made by O.R. Chase although no extant examples are known to me. I'd love to hear of one should it ever surface. Gatcomb and possibly Thompson & Odell made the Robinson banjo necks for Gad although he may have had the rims outsourced since the rims for the Gatcomb-Robinsons and the later Fairbanks made Robinsons are pretty much identical with the exception of the

hardware. Most Gatcomb made Robinsons have Gatcomb as well as Robinson name stamps and tags. I've catalogued a number of serial numbers in the under # 500 range. Perhaps Scott can report if there are serial numbers or other markings besides the metal tag on the banjo. Scott's banjo has a very T & O looking peghead shape and a variant but similar looking two screw neck adjuster to the Luscomb "frog" so it's possible this is a neck supplied by T & O.

O.R.Chase was another Boston maker ( roughly 1882-1888 ). I've seen a handful of these over the years and their quirky all metal rims may have inspired Robinson to design an all metal rim although with the additional tonering. I have a model 3 Chase banjo in the collection - fretless, simple but attractive inlay with an 11" rim and 46 brackets. It listed for $50 in its day.






Jim, good to hear from you and thanks for the info. There doesn't seem to be any other marking other than "Robinson Banjo" on the neck adjuster. After looking up a bunch of T&O peg heads, I agree that this banjo's peg head closely resembles them. Interesting to hear that this is the first Robinson you've seen that actually confirms to the patent drawings, that would explain why every other photo of a Robinson I've seen has a different tone ring. Thanks again for the input! 

scottq - Posted - 05/06/2021:  18:24:31


quote:

Originally posted by Helix

scottq: welcome to the hangout, fun,huh?



I want to HEAR the banjo, I need a little time travel.



This banjo will even help clear the accumulated dust of these dark days.






Larry, very fun indeed! I can try to post an audio clip if I can manage to figure that out on here. 

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