View Full Version : Early eight-string uke (?) in vintage theatrical poster

04-24-2010, 03:21 AM
Found this undated theatrical poster recently and it clearly shows a woman playing a ukulele-like instrument with eight strings. The gentleman is playing a mandolin, but hers has the traditional figure-eight body of a uke. This is a late-19th or early-20th century poster. Was wondering - does anyone know when the 8-string was first produced?
This second poster, probably early 20th century, and likely before WWI, shows a four-stringed uke or tenor guitar in a magician's ensemble.

04-24-2010, 03:48 AM
Those are gorgeous posters! The only info I could find in a quick search on the first one was a NY Times article about the current vaudeville shows running, which included the above, featuring "William Weston and Ella Herbert, the musical experts." That was on March 3. 1901.

(Do you have a hi-res copy of that image? I just really like it.)

I don't know much about the history or development of the strings, but I love these posters.

04-24-2010, 05:31 AM
Given the age of the poster it's probably more likely to be a mandolinetto. A number of companies were doing guitar shaped mandolins at that time. Here's a link:

04-24-2010, 05:44 AM
Given the age of the poster it's probably more likely to be a mandolinetto.

I'd agree...you can see there's a tailpiece in addition to the bridge.

Cool old posters, nonetheless.


04-26-2010, 03:09 AM
Yes, very nice old posters. I have many others, but not-uke related so I won't post them here. No high-res images - sorry.