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Help identifying banjo like instrument

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Jul 1, 2022 - 4:38:44 PM
13 posts since 7/28/2021

I have a somewhat small banjo like instrument I am curious about. It is 21" long from neck to base and 7" in width. I don't have any knowledge of what type of instrument this is, as well as the company/manufacturer who made it nor the time period it might be from. Any identification help on year and maker, as well as type of instrument would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jul 1, 2022 - 4:42:27 PM

13 posts since 7/28/2021

Here are some pictures of the instrument


Jul 1, 2022 - 5:13:42 PM

2935 posts since 3/30/2008

This is a banjo ukulele, tuned like a ukulele. This is one of the most inexpensive type available at the time, (late teens, 1920-30's ? )

Jul 1, 2022 - 5:25:26 PM

3018 posts since 4/7/2010

You have a banjo-ukulele. It was made in the 1920's along with several million other banjo ukes from that era. I remember seeing a Music Trades magazine history page 20 years ago mentioning that in 1925 there were 500,000 banjo ukes made in the US that year. And I suspect that most of them were of the cheap variety you have.

High quality instruments seem to be fairly easy to track down their manufacturers information. Low cost instruments are much harder. I have seen the exact same banjo uke you have with peghead decals proclaiming brand names like La Pacifica, Schoenhut, Columbia, and others I can not recall. From research I suspect they (and your instrument) were made by a manufacturer called Globe Musical Instruments with a factory near Chicago, IL. As prolific as Globe was, it is difficult to get much information about them. Of course, as I find little tidbits, I have less time to follow up.

Bob Smakula

Jul 2, 2022 - 3:58:06 PM

13 posts since 7/28/2021

I really appreciate your reply! It helped me identify the instrument as I had hoped. Have a great day

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