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Tudorp
05-21-2010, 06:22 AM
I was just playing around with "Bango" (My 1930s Banjo Uke), and just thought how cool this thing really is. And who played it over the years, and where are they now? Are they still alive, and/or playing..

This is a Harmony Banjo Uke circa 1930s. Very similar to the Gibson one, but not near as rare or valuable. I bought Bango awhile back not playable, and restored it, but wanted to keep it as original, with scars and all as I could. First thing I did was replace the trashed friction tuners with a decent set of geared tuners. The old ones just were simply trashed, and didn't even have them all if I remember. I then cut and made a new bone nut. Bought a maple/ebony/bone bridge, and filed it and the nut to a playable level. Polished and leveled the frets. ALLOT of cleaning up the wood, clamps, and ring. Kept the original real hyde head skin, but wet it and re-stretched it to tighten it up. Put a set of strings from Jasper Happy of the UK. I really love this thing, and enjoy playing it...

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs550.snc3/30110_129145910434541_100000173975723_346808_17372 96_n.jpg

Im not quite done with the resonator. This didn't have one when I got it, and really don't think it ever had one. But, really does need one, so I made one out of a piece of solid 5/16" Mahogany. Makes a huge difference in it's sound and volume. I plan to finish the resonator some day.. But for now, it works fine..
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs550.snc3/30110_129145913767874_100000173975723_346809_34216 83_n.jpg

This is the original lambs hyde head.. I think it is cool to think that this came from a lamb that lived over 80 years ago..
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs550.snc3/30110_129145917101207_100000173975723_346810_15342 36_n.jpg

cletus
05-21-2010, 06:28 AM
Great job! It looks cool.

uke552
05-21-2010, 07:16 AM
Neat uke! I have owned two "old" ukes, a Harmony soprano and a no-name soprano. I too wondered their story...who played them...where have they been...etc..

Keef
05-21-2010, 08:08 AM
1920's 30's ? la Pacific banjo uke
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?30624-La-Pacific-banjo-uke&p=373517#post373517 sorry about this being a link to a different thread it is the only way I have to show it right now

Tudorp
05-21-2010, 08:23 AM
Yes, I saw your link when you posted it. It is a uke from the same era as mine. So, ya haven't sold it yet?

ichadwick
05-21-2010, 08:32 AM
1294212943
Two old banjoleles I've acquired. One on left is a U-King, other is unknown, both are probably from the 1920s-30s. Both in need of TLC and restoration work, so I'll probably sell them since I'm a klutz.
12944
Three Northern Ukuleles I've acquired. One concert is mint, the other two (concert and soprano) need some work. Again, I plan to sell these because I haven't the skills or patience. I'll sell the mint Northern, too, to help finance my next tenor. Or sell all three to one buyer who really wants to collect them.

Chris Tarman
05-21-2010, 11:04 AM
I have a 1930-ish Martin Style 2 and a couple of ukes from the '20s, as well as a couple of early '50s plastic Maccaferri Islanders (one soprano, one baritone). I have pics of all of those on my profile page.

darkwater
05-21-2010, 02:19 PM
This is a Stromberg-Voisinet (predecessor of Kay) from the late 1920s. It's from the collection of Akiro Tsumura, a Japanese collector who fell afoul of the tax laws and lost his instruments. It's unusual in a couple of ways: it's got a concert length scale and a t-shaped brass capo that can be placed either at the 2nd or 3rd fret through a hole in the neck. I wonder who the Rialto Boys were?

KamakOzzie
05-29-2010, 11:25 AM
131781317613177
I'm guessing that these are all from the 30's. A no name banjo uke, a Supertone soprano with a mother-of-toilet-seat fingerboard and a Gretsch camp uke.
The Supertone and Gretsch both needed bridges. The banjo player in my band is a pattern maker by trade, and knocked them out in short order.
The girl who sold me the Supertone told me her Mother had played it and a banjo.

Bill

franulele
05-30-2010, 06:15 AM
An old Roy Smeck Vita Uke stored in my parents attic. It has since had a massive crack repaired & a bridge reglued by Joel Eckhaus. Sounds great! And yes, those are genuine barn swallow bird droppings on the case. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm37/vtguitargirl/IMG_0411.jpg

Tudorp
05-30-2010, 07:12 AM
I really like that one..



An old Roy Smeck Vita Uke stored in my parents attic. It has since had a massive crack repaired & a bridge reglued by Joel Eckhaus. Sounds great! And yes, those are genuine barn swallow bird droppings on the case. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm37/vtguitargirl/IMG_0411.jpg

freshthreat
06-09-2010, 07:31 AM
An old Roy Smeck Vita Uke stored in my parents attic. It has since had a massive crack repaired & a bridge reglued by Joel Eckhaus. Sounds great! And yes, those are genuine barn swallow bird droppings on the case. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm37/vtguitargirl/IMG_0411.jpg

Oh man! What a find!!!

Skitzic
06-09-2010, 07:40 AM
131781317613177
I'm guessing that these are all from the 30's. A no name banjo uke, a Supertone soprano with a mother-of-toilet-seat fingerboard and a Gretsch camp uke.
The Supertone and Gretsch both needed bridges. The banjo player in my band is a pattern maker by trade, and knocked them out in short order.
The girl who sold me the Supertone told me her Mother had played it and a banjo.

Bill

Mother of toilet seat made me lol.

Keef
06-09-2010, 07:51 AM
Yes, I saw your link when you posted it. It is a uke from the same era as mine. So, ya haven't sold it yet?

Nope I haven't sold it yet so if you want a banjo uke for a resto project here it is

KamakOzzie
06-09-2010, 11:13 AM
Mother of toilet seat made me lol.

The sun washed out the grain on the neck. Here is a better shot.

13528


Bill

ukebeatsguitar
08-21-2010, 06:46 AM
Hey darkwater, I have a Stromby too, but mine looks nothing like yours. Of the few I've ever seen, none have looked like yours. I was just wondering if yours had a makers mark at all. I know many Strombies don't, mine doesn't, but you know I'm just being curious.

janeray1940
08-21-2010, 06:54 AM
Some beautiful stuff here!

I've got a circa 1920s mahogany Columbia soprano (http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleblackmaryjanes/sets/72157623246848682/) that is temperamental as heck to keep in tune, but I still love.

Keef
08-21-2010, 07:04 AM
1920's 30's ? la Pacific banjo uke
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?30624-La-Pacific-banjo-uke&p=373517#post373517 sorry about this being a link to a different thread it is the only way I have to show it right now I have been meaning to post this picture but I keep forgetting. This uke has been traded for a more modern pineapple uke http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad54/Kempocat/115c6acd.jpg

bassfiddlesteve
08-21-2010, 08:11 AM
Here's my 1930's Martin Style 1:

http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/c/4/b/0/600_11030352.jpeg

I also have a 1950's Harmony "Roy Smeck" uke which has a plastic fretboard. My only other vintage pieces are not ukuleles: a 1949 Kay M-1 upright bass and an early 70's Wurlizter model 200 electric piano.

- Steve

mm stan
08-21-2010, 12:18 PM
Aloha Steve,
Thanks for sharing, yours seems to be in pretty good condition, has it been refinished? the style 2 I used to have
had alot of checking, my guess the finishes back then wasn't too stable...is your binding black with a white strip?
It a rather nice one!!
Also thanks for keeping Tudorp's name and posting going as he is receiving treatments for six months and will be
away. I am praying for him for a fast recovery as I know everyone here is also doing... Many thanks again, MM Stan..

Ukulele Friend
08-21-2010, 12:30 PM
Aloha Everyone,

One of my favorites is a 1947 custom Martin employee model tenor ukulele fashioned with similar appointments to that of the legendary Martin D-28 guitar. I've got a bunch of photos of this uke on my web page below.

enjoy,
Shawn

http://ukulelefriend.com

bassfiddlesteve
08-21-2010, 12:35 PM
Thanks for sharing, yours seems to be in pretty good condition, has it been refinished? the style 2 I used to have
had alot of checking, my guess the finishes back then wasn't too stable...is your binding black with a white strip?

My Martin has black binding with a thin white stripe and it has not been refinished. Although you can't tell in that photo, it does have several nicks and scratches as well as repaired cracks on the back. I also had to have the bridge repaired as two of the strings slots were too wide to hold on to the string no matter how many knots I tied. It's a great uke though and it will be heard on the new Barnkickers CD. I used it on every song that needed a "vintage" ukulele sound.

BTW the new Martin fluorocarbon string are a great match for this uke. I use Aquilas on most on my ukes but they never seem to bring out the best in the old Martins I've owned.

- Steve

mm stan
08-21-2010, 01:18 PM
Aloha Steve,
Mahalo for the 411 on your uke...I had problems with the strings on another uke where the slots were worn out,
I tied one of those small fishing bead to the end of the string and that seemed to resolve that isssue. When will
your new CD be coming out and where will it be available?
BTW-I put those martin flurocarbon strings on that martin I used to have and they sang...they sure last along
time too!!!I like the rich tones the gave to it, thicker string and higher tension I suppose..
I'm not sure that the Aquilla's would do the same too.. Many Thanks Again....MM Stan..

bassfiddlesteve
08-21-2010, 02:36 PM
I had problems with the strings on another uke where the slots were worn out,
I tied one of those small fishing bead to the end of the string and that seemed to resolve that isssue.

I tried that too, but the slots were too wide so I had my repairman inlay some mahagony and re-drill the slots.


When will your new CD be coming out and where will it be available?

It should be out by the end of the year and will be available from our website, CD Baby and most online retailers (iTunes, Amazon, napster, etc.). Hopefully Flea Market Music and Elderly Insrtuments will carry this one like they did with our first CD.

- Steve

Nuprin
08-21-2010, 02:58 PM
Just got my first vintage uke. Someone sold this 1920's era Slingerland MayBell banjolele to my store. As my boss predicted, I couldn't resist it and it became mine yesterday. Needs some work on tightening the original head and it's missing its resonator but a fun acquisition!

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/MayBell%20Banjolele/IMG_0058.jpg

Next to her big brother, a Waverly Street concert banjolele...

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/MayBell%20Banjolele/IMG_0065.jpg

More pics can be found here. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?34626-Slingerland-May-Bell-banjolele)