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Oct 24, 2021 - 3:06:21 PM
10 posts since 6/14/2020

I have an R.S. Williams 1890? Echo Style 19 coming to me, on a UPS truck somewhere between Utah (from Intermountain Guitar and banjo) and Evanston, IL. I aske Leo to put on some nylon strings, and the nut and saddle worked a bit. The one thing I did notice on this is the center star on the peghead appears to have been replaced with a smaller star inlay. Perhaps if this banjo wanders into a shop, if the starts line up (ha), I can get the amateurish patch job re-done.

Banjo Hangout appears to have the most information on this builder, and I have spent some quality google time looking for information on these banjos. Interestingly, I did stumble across some information on yet another R.S. Williams / Stewart link, this time in guitars from the 20s-30s.

mydirtyguitarhabit.com/r-s-wil...ar-maker/

Regarding the R.S. Williams and Stewart links, perhaps there was a "friendly" rivalry going on, and are we sure it was Williams who was emulating Stewart? I am no history buff or patent lawyer, but a lot was going on on the 1880s regarding US patents, international accords and agreements. It would be interesting to see where R.S. Williams was selling their instruments prior to and around the time Stewart started (google sleuthing says 1878?)

Referencing an old archive in the link below, mentioning an Echo 800 from a decade or so later.

banjohangout.org/archive/284697




Edited by - Gary Leonard on 10/24/2021 15:07:04

Oct 24, 2021 - 5:56:37 PM

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

Are you suggesting that S. S. Stewart copied Williams?

Oct 24, 2021 - 6:57:12 PM

csacwp

USA

2939 posts since 1/15/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Are you suggesting that S. S. Stewart copied Williams?


He's asking if that might be the case. The answer is a resounding "no." 

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:12:44 PM

staceyz

Canada

147 posts since 5/30/2010

R.S. Williams had George Bauer build these banjos..

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:25:33 PM

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by staceyz

R.S. Williams had George Bauer build these banjos..


Can you support that?  Williams banjos are different from Bauer's offerings.

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:35:20 PM

staceyz

Canada

147 posts since 5/30/2010

I'll have to find where I read that, it was the Bauer era of SS Stewart..

Oct 25, 2021 - 4:22:38 AM

1796 posts since 1/13/2012

Of the handful of Williams banjos I've seen, none looked like they were connected to Stewart (or subsequent companies) by anything other than emulation. Never saw one that looked like it was manufactured by Bauer.

Oct 25, 2021 - 5:32:21 AM
likes this

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

Oh, wire strings will pull the posts off of that Wood tailpiece. If you feel you have to keep this banjo wired up I would recommend changing the tailpiece.

If you go with the proper nylon, that tailpiece is a little weird to use. The strings go through and around the back post with the cross cut, then they wrap once around the front post (where the wire strings a looped).

patents.google.com/patent/US360790A/

Oct 25, 2021 - 6:41:54 AM

10 posts since 6/14/2020

I asked the dealer to set it up with nylon strings.

Didn't mean to imply Stewart copied Williams, but more to entertain who they were emulating. Both these builders surely attempted to market their banjos based on what was selling at the time. And from what I can gather, Williams was building before Stewart, and he had a background in instrument collecting and preserving.

Oct 25, 2021 - 6:14:23 PM

10 posts since 6/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Oh, wire strings will pull the posts off of that Wood tailpiece. If you feel you have to keep this banjo wired up I would recommend changing the tailpiece.

If you go with the proper nylon, that tailpiece is a little weird to use. The strings go through and around the back post with the cross cut, then they wrap once around the front post (where the wire strings a looped).

patents.google.com/patent/US360790A/\

Well thank you a ton Joel! That information on the A.G. Wood tailpiece will be very useful.


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