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Oct 3, 2022 - 3:45:42 PM
Players Union Member

northn

USA

46 posts since 1/2/2008

I recently picked up this 19-fret tenor banjo. It has no name, no number. Anybody recognize it?

Edited by - northn on 10/03/2022 15:49:38

Oct 3, 2022 - 4:06:35 PM

233 posts since 12/19/2017

We could use pictures to make this investigation do you some justice.

Oct 3, 2022 - 4:25:58 PM

5246 posts since 3/22/2008

I looked at your photos in your home page.
The flange is a Kay. Hard to see but the pearloid peghead looks like a "gumby" Kay the shape of which was introduced to the public with Kay's KayKraft banjos in 1931. Maybe you could Google KayKraft banjo to see if your peghead is the same as the 1931 KayKraft banjos to confirm the identity of your banjo.

Oct 3, 2022 - 4:42:22 PM

2158 posts since 11/17/2018

Agree that it looks like a Kay.

I worked and lived in Santee back in the day.

Oct 3, 2022 - 6:34:24 PM

10134 posts since 8/28/2013

Kay flange for sure, but I don't see a pearloid peghead nor the "gumby" shape.

Oct 3, 2022 - 6:45:14 PM

beegee

USA

23119 posts since 7/6/2005
Online Now

Not a Kay flange. The Kay had slots and holes, not diamonds and holes. As soon as my image library finds a match, I'll post it

Oct 3, 2022 - 7:58:09 PM
like this

5246 posts since 3/22/2008

The Kay Diamond Flange was a little more fancy than the Kay dot-dash flange but to me it is a mystery when Kay decided which one to use. The dot-dash seems to be more common.


Oct 4, 2022 - 12:46:03 PM

10134 posts since 8/28/2013

i've seen both flanges. There are, and probably always will be, mysteries with Kay banjos. They didn't use serial numbers, and catalog descriptions and depictions were sometimes out of date.

Oct 4, 2022 - 1:51:36 PM

5246 posts since 3/22/2008

Oops, on second look I posted the wrong Kay flange. Here attached is the Kay flange that I think matches the OP banjo. But the attached banjo may be a Stromberg Voisinet which, I guess, muddies the waters somewhat. We might know more if we had a photo of the OP banjo's peghead. 


Edited by - beezaboy on 10/04/2022 13:56:54

Oct 5, 2022 - 5:37:59 PM

12408 posts since 10/27/2006

The Kay 'diamond flange' has 30 brackets and was used on their top end banjos like the Jose Silva models—I've never seen one older than the 1950s. The holes and slots flange has 20 brackets and goes back to the SV days, some with dowel sticks.

Headstock shape means absolutely nothing when trying to date a Kay.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 10/05/2022 17:39:52

Oct 7, 2022 - 10:22:15 PM
Players Union Member

northn

USA

46 posts since 1/2/2008

OK, it seems to be going in the Kay direction. The computer told me the photos were uploaded, but apparently not so much. I'll shoot more pics with and without the resonator. I'll get my grandson to help me with the technical stuff.

Thanks for the comments. I'll get the pics done tomorrow.

OldNavyGuy, where were you stationed?

Oct 7, 2022 - 10:40:22 PM

2158 posts since 11/17/2018

quote:
Originally posted by northn

OK, it seems to be going in the Kay direction. The computer told me the photos were uploaded, but apparently not so much. I'll shoot more pics with and without the resonator. I'll get my grandson to help me with the technical stuff.

Thanks for the comments. I'll get the pics done tomorrow.

OldNavyGuy, where were you stationed?


NAS Barbers Point (Hawaii)

Amphib Base Coronado (TAD waiting for USS Iwo Jima)

32nd Street (USS Iwo Jima)

NAS North Island (shore and sea duty - squadron/USS Kitty Hawk)

ASW Training Center - Point Loma

NAS Miramar (sea duty - squadron)

Worked at a company on Olive Lane in Santee, and lived not far from Santana High School (daughter graduated from there).

Frequent diner at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse on Mission Gorge Road.

Did you do BUDS training at Coronado?

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 10/07/2022 22:46:55

Oct 14, 2022 - 11:41:52 AM
likes this

stanger

USA

7429 posts since 9/29/2004

Kay made banjos that were sold as house brands. Big retailers would buy them and market the banjos under their own name. Sometimes the peghead face was left blank, as it cost extra to have the house brands name included on the banjo. Some dealers popped for the extra cost, and others didn't.

Pearloid was perfect for covering up all the Kay markings. All Kay had to do was glue the pearloid sheet on; the stuff didn't need a finish on top of it to protect it.
Other big banjo makers did the same thing too.
regards,
stanger

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