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Jun 22, 2021 - 10:06:21 AM
61 posts since 6/3/2021

Hi everyone, here is another from my dad's collection he acquired from his friend. Anything you can tell me about it is appreciated.
Thank you very much.


Jun 23, 2021 - 12:04:10 AM


New Zealand

11232 posts since 6/29/2003

The only info on this make in my archives is a William H Dewick, Brooklyn NY 1895-1925.

Jun 23, 2021 - 6:03:08 AM

5035 posts since 3/22/2008

I have a little file on De Wick (sometimes a space between the De and "W" sometimes not) and have owned a couple of them (tenors).
There is a brief biography on Dewick written by Mike Holmes in the Q&A section of Mugwumps online to check.
His name was William H. DeWick and in sum I found that he was a banjo teacher, banjo performer, banjo inventor, banjo assembler and banjo dabler during his career that spanned from the classic era 5-string to the 1920's jazz era tenor.
In about 1892 he opened a BMG teaching studio at 591 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. He still had that studio in 1897. At that time (1897) he was associated (partner) with the NYC studio of Charles E. Dobson of the dysfunctional Dobson family. His Fulton Street studio was still in business in 1904.
Also in the late 1890's he performed with his wife and daughter (I think) as The DeWick Trio. with banjo, mandolin and guitar. They were described as a "refined musical act" and played the vaudeville circuit in the south and east U.S. through at least 1910. He obtained two mandolin patents in 1911 and 1912 In 1916 he performed with the trio at the NYC Serenaders club convention in NYC.
Then my file goes blank until the mid-1920's.
He got two banjo patents in the mid 1920's and I think one of them dealt with his invention of a neck adjuster mechanism which banjo type I once owned (attached). He advertised that particular tenor banjo as "The De Wick 'Ideal' Banjo with patented neck adjuster, built-in resonator, brackets that do not extend above the rim and (I think significantly) DeWick said the banjo was "Made by men who thoroughly understand the art of BANJO building". So I don't think DeWick was a banjo maker but acquired his banjos from established banjo manufacturers although he could have been a banjo assembler. Yours, for example, has what I think is a Gretsch neck yoke. By 1925 DeWick had associated with an outfit named Sullivan & Ries at 72 Grand Ave., Brooklyn. Sullivan & Ries were marketing DeWick banjos and claimed to have a banjo factory but I don't know if that claim is accurate. They may have been jobbers. The DeWick/Sullivan & Reis association seems to have been short lived. Finally, I also formerly owned a more traditional DeWick tenor banjos like yours and not the "Ideal". I think mine was probably made by an established banjo manufacturer and branded "DeWick". I also have a DeWick basket case at home now. The brackets are unusual and not traditional looking.

Jun 25, 2021 - 2:41:21 PM

61 posts since 6/3/2021

Much appreciated info, sorry if I don't reply right away. Pulling some long hours this week at work. And needless to say learning about these banjo's and checking replies to the threads has been a little challenging for me. I do appreciate all your input. Thanks so much!

Jun 25, 2021 - 3:56:50 PM

3859 posts since 3/28/2008

beezaboy , that neck attachment reminds me just a little of Tom Nechville's "flux capacitor".

Jun 25, 2021 - 7:10:06 PM

8898 posts since 8/28/2013

I'd say the neck attachment looks like Gretsch.

Jun 28, 2021 - 12:00:36 PM

61 posts since 6/3/2021

I found this DeWick online, similar to what I have but it has a flange.

Jul 14, 2021 - 7:48:37 AM

61 posts since 6/3/2021

Thank you for the link and info, much appreciated.

Jul 14, 2021 - 9:59:52 AM

2386 posts since 7/20/2004

Sorry for the thread hijack, but the Fulton St address struck a chord in my memory. The Vibroplex company, which produced semi-automatic telegraph keys (which make a music of their own kind) were just a couple of blocks down the street, between 1926 and 1941.

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