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Dec 9, 2022 - 2:27:55 AM
4 posts since 12/8/2022

Hi all,

Directed to this group by a friend. I found my grandmother’s banjo in my parent’s attic, and am having trouble pinning down what it is exactly. The model number does not come up via Google search, so I figured I’d throw it out to the experts.




 

Dec 9, 2022 - 4:25:57 AM

983 posts since 5/31/2004

It's an early 1920s Bacon tenor banjo with an aftermarket resonator. The banjo was originally an openback from the factory.

There should be a model designation stamp on the dowel stick. Perhaps you need to remove the resonator mounting hardware in order to see it.

Dec 9, 2022 - 5:33:27 AM

3190 posts since 4/7/2010

jamesparker

Also supply the serial number. That will help pinpoint the year of manufacture.

Bob Smakula

Dec 9, 2022 - 6:54:31 AM

4 posts since 12/8/2022

More pics




 

Dec 9, 2022 - 8:32:56 AM

3065 posts since 3/30/2008

Nu-Way was a line of banjos made by Albert Houdlett & son (AKA, Albert Houdlett & sons). The resonator seems to have been part of one of his banjos.

Dec 9, 2022 - 8:41:37 AM

10287 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

Nu-Way was a line of banjos made by Albert Houdlett & son (AKA, Albert Houdlett & sons). The resonator seems to have been part of one of his banjos.


Many makers also sold parts and after market accessories. In any case, this resonator was not original equipment on a Bacon banjo.

Dec 9, 2022 - 10:01:01 AM

5288 posts since 3/22/2008

From your photographs your grandmother's banjo is a Bacon Style B which was made by The Bacon Banjo Company of Groton, CT in 1923. The banjo is a 17 fret open-back tenor banjo. In 1923 and thereafter banjos began to be made with resonators and flanges to propel the banjo tone out towards the audience. Somewhere along the line someone fitted a resonator with attached flange made by Houdlett (as stated above) to this open-back banjo to "modernize" it so to speak. Several companies actually made aftermarket resonators like yours for sale to open-back tenor banjo owners. Houdlett "Nu Way" branded banjo parts are rare in my opinion. I'd hold on to that resonator was me. The Bacon Style B is complete without it except for the possible dowel stick scar made by the resonator attachment hardware. I've attached a Bacon Style B catalog page.  Note that the catalog description states that the banjo was made with a tone hoop atop the wood rim.  This is a nice feature for loud and crisp tone.


Edited by - beezaboy on 12/09/2022 10:08:21

Dec 9, 2022 - 10:15:56 AM

4 posts since 12/8/2022

Thank you for the info, and that catalog page is awesome @beezaboy! Would anyone know the value of this banjo, and/or the resonator with or without? It does have the original case- while a bit beat up on the outside, it is in great condition inside.

Dec 9, 2022 - 10:29:48 AM

5288 posts since 3/22/2008

I don't know much about values. The real value is in the banjo, of course, and it is a Bacon which was a highly respected manufacturer. I am, however, interested in New York City banjo manufacturers is why I perked at the New Way branded resonator. Attached are a few tidbits including a Houdlett banjo with your resonator so tdennis had good instincts as usual.


Dec 9, 2022 - 10:36:10 AM

dutchtenor

Netherlands

38 posts since 7/6/2011

Bacon Style B is a low end type, and demand for (tenor) banjos has declined. I think $500,- would be a good price, probably not higher. And depending on the condition of the frets.

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