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Jan 9, 2021 - 6:04:42 AM
4859 posts since 3/22/2008

On ebay may be a collectable catalog. This is just a heads-up for those that might be interested.  It is a Sears 1899 Musical Instrument Catalog with Acme Professional string instruments described.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sears-1899-Sears-Roebuck-Co-Musical-Instrument-Catalog-Catalogue-Very-Rare/133632181988?hash=item1f1d1946e4:g:fMAAAOSwiBhf-Qk3

I only know from chatter here and there that purportedly S. S. Stewart made the Acme Professional banjos for Sears and that George Bauer and Fred Stewart et al completed the Sears banjo contract after S. S. Stewart's death in April 1898.  The Stewart/Acme banjo history has always been fuzzy for me.


Jan 9, 2021 - 9:16:18 PM

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

That is pretty cool, the only problem is that it is not 1899.

No. 111 is the Fall Catalog of 1901.

Jan 9, 2021 - 9:38 PM

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

I have some problems with the Mugwumps Stewart/Sears claims.

The first real Sears catalog was 1894 (below). The first appearance of Acme Professional Banjos is in 1899. Stewart died in April of 1898, and we know what the Bauers did after that.

This is a work in progress for me but it does look like Sears might have sold Stewart banjos before 1899, but under the Stewart name. They also sold L&H, J. B. Schall, and Buckbee/R&L.

The Acme line post 1899 are clearly budget Stewart and Bauer Co. banjos as S&R proudly claims "having made special arrangements with the manufacturers of the famous S. S. Stewart Banjos to manufacture for us our Acme Professional Banjos." The Acme private label banjos were MUCH cheaper than the SSS branded banjos.


Jan 10, 2021 - 7:58:36 PM

John Firth-Smith

Australia

82 posts since 3/13/2010

quote:  -- its interesting I have one of those WINDSOR banjos described on that page - looks as if it was made by L&H its a good banjo but I would love to get a SSS ACME

Originally posted by Joel Hooks

I have some problems with the Mugwumps Stewart/Sears claims.

The first real Sears catalog was 1894 (below). The first appearance of Acme Professional Banjos is in 1899. Stewart died in April of 1898, and we know what the Bauers did after that.

This is a work in progress for me but it does look like Sears might have sold Stewart banjos before 1899, but under the Stewart name. They also sold L&H, J. B. Schall, and Buckbee/R&L.

The Acme line post 1899 are clearly budget Stewart and Bauer Co. banjos as S&R proudly claims "having made special arrangements with the manufacturers of the famous S. S. Stewart Banjos to manufacture for us our Acme Professional Banjos." The Acme private label banjos were MUCH cheaper than the SSS branded banjos.


Jan 10, 2021 - 8:03:20 PM

John Firth-Smith

Australia

82 posts since 3/13/2010

-- interesting - I happen to have one of those WINDSOR banjos ,it is a good banjo looks as if it was made by L&H in very good condition but I would prefer a SSS ACME made when SS was alive --

Jan 11, 2021 - 6:59:23 PM

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by John Firth-Smith

-- interesting - I happen to have one of those WINDSOR banjos ,it is a good banjo looks as if it was made by L&H in very good condition but I would prefer a SSS ACME made when SS was alive --


I'd love to see that Windsor.

Yeah, that would be some feat to get an Acme made when SSS was alive as they were not made until after the forced Bauer takeover.

Jan 12, 2021 - 3:49:04 AM

1693 posts since 1/13/2012

I've seen a few L&H banjos with the "Windsor" name applied... didn't know who they were sold by, until now.

Jan 12, 2021 - 4:40:33 AM

John Firth-Smith

Australia

82 posts since 3/13/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by John Firth-Smith

-- interesting - I happen to have one of those WINDSOR banjos ,it is a good banjo looks as if it was made by L&H in very good condition but I would prefer a SSS ACME made when SS was alive --


I'd love to see that Windsor.

Yeah, that would be some feat to get an Acme made when SSS was alive as they were not made until after the forced Bauer takeover.


I will dig out the WINDSOR and post photos in a couple of days - I thought the Acme University Glee was made by SSS when he was alive with the Tree of life inlay  ?

Jan 12, 2021 - 5:29:10 AM

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by John Firth-Smith
quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by John Firth-Smith

-- interesting - I happen to have one of those WINDSOR banjos ,it is a good banjo looks as if it was made by L&H in very good condition but I would prefer a SSS ACME made when SS was alive --


I'd love to see that Windsor.

Yeah, that would be some feat to get an Acme made when SSS was alive as they were not made until after the forced Bauer takeover.


I will dig out the WINDSOR and post photos in a couple of days - I thought the Acme University Glee was made by SSS when he was alive with the Tree of life inlay  ?


Nope, I'll look this evening for the catalog where they announce the University Glee model.  It is Post SSS, as was all Acme Banjos made by Stewart & Bauer.

Edited by - Joel Hooks on 01/12/2021 05:29:43

Jan 12, 2021 - 5:46:42 AM

John Firth-Smith

Australia

82 posts since 3/13/2010

Thanks Joe - I have a few SSS banjos most models all numbered way before 50,000 - by the way I need 5 or 6 1/2 inch two leg bridges that you make.
I am interested in anything SSS -- John

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