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Sep 21, 2022 - 7:17:28 AM
1691 posts since 12/26/2007

I suspect that Stewart may have made an early version of the Common Sense tailpiece (TP) that did not have the "lug" under the tailpiece to prevent the TP from creeping forward. Google Drive link goes to a 3-page writeup of observations on what I call "Original" and "Improved" Common Sense TPs.

I'm seeking comments from anyone familiar with S. S. Stewart tailpieces on whether or not my "no-lug" tailpiece is a Stewart product or else a knock-off by one of Stewart's many competitors.

Comments welcome ! ! ! !

link to Google Drive document

Link to photos from the document:


Sep 21, 2022 - 7:32:14 AM

1691 posts since 12/26/2007

Links didn't survive.... try again

Google Drive document:


Sep 21, 2022 - 7:36:26 AM

7219 posts since 9/21/2007
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The drive link is not working for me.

The first mention of the CS that I have is on the back cover of Issue 61, December 1890.


While this does not specifically mention the lug, the next reference from June 1891 does.


Reading everything available that SSS has written, the swinging side to side of his older style ivory tailpiece was something he had a problem with. He solved this problem with the CS (which includes the lug). This would make the CS "improved" over the old style ivory tailpieces.

What other makers did with their various knockoffs is not something that SSS could control. He did not patent his CS design.

But SSS makes it pretty clear that there were two reasons for developing the CS, easily tying on strings without having to feed them through holes, and the lug to prevent the tailpiece from moving side to side.

In real life experience, the old style, ivory type tailpieces are a problem. Using period correct thin strings the bridge can move around. This was overcome by putting rosin on the feet (something that SSS recommended). At the turn of 1900 bridge makers started gluing emery abrasive to the feet.

SSS' CS, with the lug, solved this problem for the most part, in combination with the rosin.

Sep 21, 2022 - 7:39:02 AM

7219 posts since 9/21/2007
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Okay, I was able to read the document. Please refer to the documents I linked from Dec 1890 and June 1891.

Sep 21, 2022 - 8:20:49 AM

1691 posts since 12/26/2007

Joel - thanks..... I hadn't seen those two documents. I'm now mulling over the descriptions of the TP's and the timing of the published documents.

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