Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

B&D Silver Belle differences.

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Aug 20, 2019 - 12:40:03 PM
Players Union Member



212 posts since 11/20/2011

I haven't been able to get any definitive answer to this question so i'll bother this forum.
I'm aware of the numbered series up through the NPUs. What i don't understand is where the celluloid models fit in the line. ( Montana et al). Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Is there any particular reason someone would choose a celluloided (can't be a word) model over one of the straight number Silver Belles. If there's a source somewhere that i can refer to i'd appreciate knowing about it.
Many thanks in advance for any help.

Aug 20, 2019 - 3:14:19 PM

225 posts since 3/19/2018


He states his source material

the main contributors are John Bernunzio George Gruhn plus many more.
in the book there is a timeline of Bacon and Day
this taken from the Red book by Akira Tsumura

PM if you Want A copy.

Aug 20, 2019 - 5:58:01 PM

12116 posts since 10/30/2008

Searching via Google I was referred to a thread here on BHO in 2009 where BrittDLD1 wrote:

In 1923, the year after David Day came to Bacon -- Vaudeville's Cowboy
Banjoist, "Montana", became one of Bacon's premier endorsers.

Montana wasn't the best 'musician', among Bacon's endorsers -- but he WAS
the most-popular showman. And he touted himself as the "highest-paid banjoist"
in Vaudeville, at the time. (And his name eventually sold a LOT of banjos for

The B&D "Montana Special" Silver Bell banjos were ALSO used to introduce
the newest developments, and accessories, to the lower-end of Bacon's
"professional" line of Silver Bells.

"Working musicians" could have the best of the new developments, and a
"distinctive-looking" (white holly) banjo -- at a slightly higher cost than the
standard Silver Bell No.1 Models.

In a few cases, the "Montana Specials" actually introduced new accessories
BEFORE the upper-model Silver Bells were cataloged with those features.

The Montana Specials were the first low-end Silver Bells to use:
. . . o Celluloid veneers, and fingerboard (grained Ivoroid at first)
. . . o Engraved and stained celluloid
. . . o Pearl-inlaid celluoid
. . . o Rhinestones in the peghead
. . . o First use of the later "B" peghead shape.
. . . o "Internal-reduction" geared pegs,
. . . o Arm rest,
. . . o Leg mute
. . . o Oettinger tailpiece

Montana's OWN banjos were custom made, and 3 are known to exist, which
have unusual features, and experimental tone-rings.

Montana played 4-string plectrum-style banjo -- but he played it on
the "old-time" 5-string -- mostly for LOOKS. (The 5th string was removed!)

The 5th PEG was there... but on one example, the 5-th string nut (pip) wasn't
even installed. And, there where ONLY 4 attachment lugs, for the loop-ends of
the strings.

Aug 20, 2019 - 6:37:42 PM

31 posts since 2/22/2019

Please join our Facebook group called ‘The Bacon Banjo Co Society’ for definitive correct answers.

We study and have up to date information on the banjos and the company. I myself own 4 Ne Plus Ultras, and Peter, the admin owns 6 of them.

Please join us there for accurate information that isn’t outdated.

Aug 20, 2019 - 6:42:57 PM
likes this
Players Union Member



212 posts since 11/20/2011

Thanks Gentlemen for the replies; helpful in getting me a bit further down the road to understanding. I can see where the celluloid models could be used to introduce the latest developments that later went into the Silver Belle line. But does it boil down to Bling though? With other things being equal ... is a celluloid model just a dressed up Silver Belle with make up on?

Aug 21, 2019 - 12:43:50 PM

31 posts since 2/22/2019

Much of Ed’s work has been discredited.

Aug 21, 2019 - 3:04:24 PM
Players Union Member



212 posts since 11/20/2011

Would elaborate on that please.

Aug 27, 2019 - 8:56:15 AM

40 posts since 3/29/2004


Explain what you are referring to regarding Ed's work.


Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories