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Thread: Looking for information about Biltmore ukuleles built in Chicago

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    8,134

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    They built more ukes than many other companies.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_driver View Post
    Your post got cut off. There’s a glitch in the forum software where if you use certain special characters that happens.
    Unfortunately, that happens randomly. There's no way to avoid it.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    6

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    More follow-up:

    According to another family theory, it's possible that this is something my great grandfather bought for a Mason's event, so that version of how it made it into my family is now in the mixin addition to 1950's/60's trips to Hawaii. I personally like the Freemason theory more, since my family is from Michigan, and it feels a little TOO serendipitous that an instrument sold by a Chicago distributor would be purchased in Hawaii by someone who spends a lot of time in Chicago.

    I found an article about patents for the Chicago ukulele manufacturers (http://www.nalu-music.com/nalu/tradesample.pdf). Other folks probably already knew this, but Lyon and Healy was another Chicago-based ukulele manufacturer who produced the Camp line of ukuleles. It doesn't immediately make sense with the Los Angeles angle (pink nut & saddle are apparently characteristic of 1950's Williams Co. ukuleles) -- but it seems reasonable that given Lyon and Healy and Targ and Dinner were both Chicago-based that there is some overlap there, especially given that Targ and Dinner wasn't a manufacturer and was only rebranding other folk's instruments.

    Official Gazette of the US Patent Office, volume 452, March 1935, page 281 (https://books.google.com/books?id=hiGgAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA281) has the Biltmore logo listed as a recognized trademark not subject to opposition (no clue what that means TBH). In the register they claim use since Jan. 2, 1933, so that gives us an absolutely earliest possible date (hendulele's Camp ukulele with the similar bridge is from the 1920's, so it's interesting to rule out that decade as a possible option).

    The registration has to be renewed every 10 years, so I'm going to see if I can follow up on that to see if there's anything about the lyre-logo versus the simple B.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,230

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    FWIW- the tuners look like some found on Martins which I think were from late 40s- 50s. That may help narrow the time period, assuming they are original and not replacements

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