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Nov 30, 2021 - 5:44:44 PM
2 posts since 11/29/2021

Hello everyone! I recently picked up my first banjo at a local secondhand store. I have enjoyed playing with it so far but I know next to nothing about banjos and was interested in the make/model that I have. Would anybody be able to help me identify this? I didn't see any names on the banjo itself other than on the remo head and "Bell Brand Patented N.M.S. Co" on the metal tailpiece. I have attached some pictures. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!


Dec 1, 2021 - 10:16:23 AM
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531 posts since 5/29/2015

Do some Google image searches with "Supertone banjo" and "1920s Oscar Schmidt" banjo and you may find something similar.

I have seen that headstock shape on many 5 string open back Supertone Banjos. I associate the Hex shoes with the black stripes on the sides of the rim with Oscar Schmidt from the 1920s and 1930s.

Dec 2, 2021 - 12:05:23 PM

2 posts since 11/29/2021

I did a google search of the supertone banjo as you suggested and I can definitely see some similarities with the headstock shape, couldn't find any matches to my exact model though. Glad I have some sort of idea of the type of banjo and era it came from. Thanks for the help!

Dec 3, 2021 - 9:58:26 AM

11919 posts since 10/27/2006

A 19 fret indicates mid-'20s or later. Clean that bad boy up and play. That might be Elton hardware, if so, not too hard to find the missing hardware (lube before turning those bracket nuts!). If you find the friction tuners a hassle on a 19 fret tenor, a set of Gotohs will fix you up. I'd talk to Bob Smakula about the missing hardware and fitting those funky original tuning knobs to a set of Gotohs.

Dec 4, 2021 - 3:09:44 AM
Players Union Member



15031 posts since 8/30/2006

It looks like Birdseye.


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