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Mar 9, 2021 - 12:10:51 AM
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Dave Downunder

Australia

10 posts since 2/20/2021

I couldn't see that this was posted in any archived threads so I thought I would upload it.

Hunting around the internet for info on the Cole's Eclips that I acquired, I came across the Patent documentation for the 1899 Elite No Knot Tailpiece - see the attache PDF. I thought it might be of interest to some here as it has a very detailed description and diagrams by Charles S. De Lano.


Mar 9, 2021 - 5:30:42 AM
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4918 posts since 3/22/2008

Dave -Thanks for posting the DeLano Elite Tailpiece information.
Attached are a couple of tidbits that follow the course of Elite Tailpiece history perhaps of interest to Rettberg & Lange Orpheum owners. From The Cadenza March 1903 and then The Cadenza March 1909.


Mar 9, 2021 - 7:31:44 AM

6097 posts since 9/21/2007

Stewart & Bauer sold these tailpieces. When found on S&B era banjos there is a good chance they were original to the instrument.

A bit of warning, wire strings will bend/crush them and could pull off the studs.




Mar 9, 2021 - 9:02:18 AM

4918 posts since 3/22/2008

I have a couple Elite tailpieces. I've noticed that depending on position the hanger bolt can press on the middle stud and pop it out. Since I'm a tenor banjo guy - no worry. See attached.


Mar 9, 2021 - 9:21:45 AM
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1728 posts since 1/13/2012

A lot of the missing studs in Elite tailpieces are down to the fact that, like most things Rettberg & Lange built, their construction was fairly shoddy. The swaging that holds the studs into the body was often poorly done. No Knot tailpieces were generally better constructed, and so have fewer problems with studs going missing.

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:52:20 AM

267 posts since 4/14/2014

I've got this old "Lambrook" stamped Elite. How many other names were put on these? Any ideas or other encounters? 

I should add, that I strung this up before really knowing how to use the "no-knot" aspect. 


 

Edited by - Nic Pennsylvania on 03/09/2021 11:54:13

Mar 9, 2021 - 1:40:35 PM

Dave Downunder

Australia

10 posts since 2/20/2021


Thanks all for the info folks, it is interesting to get feedback about the tailpiece.

I'm pretty new to the word of the vintage banjo and the No Knot aspect of the device is intriguing, it seems too simple to work, what is the opinion of users, do you use it as it is described, does it hold tight?


 

For what it is worth to the Cole's Eclipse knowledge base: the one I have is - according to the info provided in my thread from a couple of weeks ago - a model 2500 and the serial number is #3594, so assuming the tailpiece is original (and as yet I have no reason to think it isn't) the banjo must be posted 1899.

Mar 9, 2021 - 1:57:24 PM
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4918 posts since 3/22/2008

Nic Pennsylvania
Your tailpiece is "Lynbrook" a brand name for Albert Houdlett & Sons of Brooklyn, N.Y.
There is one on ebay right now:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-LYNBROOK-FIVE-STRING-BANJO-TAILPIECE/254888149359?hash=item3b5884816f:g:HYQAAOSw6aRfU6~T


Edited by - beezaboy on 03/09/2021 13:59:47

Mar 9, 2021 - 2:03:05 PM
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267 posts since 4/14/2014

David, here's a picture of one tied proper. It works well and I've not had issue with it. I wouldn't due this with one of the modern no-knots with the slotted cams though, not unless you've sanded them well to assure no sharp edges.


Thanks for the info, John!


 

Mar 9, 2021 - 2:10:46 PM

AldenS

Canada

113 posts since 10/23/2017

Thanks for posting. I always enjoy looking at these documents.

Thankfully Google has made patent documentation easier to find these days. Nonetheless, I think it'd be really great if someone could put together a compendium of banjo-related patents and their documentation.

... Having written this I'm suddenly overcome with a desire to make a side project out of that, but even if I do in my experience it'll be years before it happens.

Mar 9, 2021 - 2:14:58 PM

AldenS

Canada

113 posts since 10/23/2017

P.S. These are great and clever little tailpieces, and are very easy to string up (with nylon strings, for the sake of their continuing survival). 

Edited by - AldenS on 03/09/2021 14:16:58

Mar 9, 2021 - 2:27:50 PM
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4918 posts since 3/22/2008

AldenS
The late Mike Holmes, the creator of Mugwumps, has published a banjo et al patent index of the sort you mentioned - cover attached.


Mar 9, 2021 - 2:44:54 PM

AldenS

Canada

113 posts since 10/23/2017

quote:
Originally posted by beezaboy

AldenS
The late Mike Holmes, the creator of Mugwumps, has published a banjo et al patent index of the sort you mentioned - cover attached.


Well there we go!

Do you know where/how I might get my hands on such a hard copy?

Mar 9, 2021 - 3:02:28 PM

Dave Downunder

Australia

10 posts since 2/20/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Nic Pennsylvania

David, here's a picture of one tied proper. It works well and I've not had issue with it. I wouldn't due this with one of the modern no-knots with the slotted cams though, not unless you've sanded them well to assure no sharp edges.
 


Thanks for that, I'm looking forward to getting the Eclipse back together and seeing this No Knot system in action.

Mar 9, 2021 - 5:11:15 PM

1728 posts since 1/13/2012

quote:
Originally posted by beezaboy

AldenS
The late Mike Holmes, the creator of Mugwumps, has published a banjo et al patent index of the sort you mentioned - cover attached.


Richard Ciccarelli published a book of compiled banjo patents from 1800-1900 ten or fifteen years ago. It has the advantage of including the patent drawings, so it's more interesting to page through and easier to use for quick research than Mike's book (which is just a text-based index). I dont know the current state of its publishing, but Rick is a member here.

Mar 10, 2021 - 8:50:26 AM

hbick2

USA

328 posts since 6/26/2004

Mike Holmes' site also has some information about No Knot and Elite tailpieces. http://www.mugwumps.com/no_knot.html

People complain a lot about the site, but I still use it for many things. He has a great section on various tailpieces and wrenches. His "Encyclopedia of American Fretted Instrument Makers" is also very useful. I emailed the family when he died and they said they were considering creating scanned copies of all of his Mugwumps publications and posting them. That wold be great.

Here is the main page of his site:  http://www.mugwumps.com/index.html

Mar 10, 2021 - 9:25:02 AM

288 posts since 10/8/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Dave Downunder
quote:
Originally posted by Nic Pennsylvania

David, here's a picture of one tied proper. It works well and I've not had issue with it. I wouldn't due this with one of the modern no-knots with the slotted cams though, not unless you've sanded them well to assure no sharp edges.
 


Thanks for that, I'm looking forward to getting the Eclipse back together and seeing this No Knot system in action.


David my Cole eclipse 3000 had an Elite on it when I got it from the second owner. I immediately took the steel strings off and restrung it with a gut substitute style string. I also have elite tail pieces on several other of my banjos and love them they are very quick to restring and I've never had a problem with any of them There was a box of old banjo parts that I saw on ebay a while back and one of the old hard to see through plastic bags appeared to have at least two Elites barely showing through, I took a chance and when I got the box there were 4 of them in the bag!!

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