Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

 Ive been told that there would have been no banjos at this 1840 ish time in Texas. But Texas history is what I reenact.

If there were banjos there,, would a 4 string gourd be the most likely?

gearing up for one next month


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For what it's worth, we know of at least one Boucher that made it to Texas (and is still there), but as far as I know made it to Texas because it was carried by a Civil War soldier.

In that the war for Texas independence was largely fought by Tennesseans, I'd think the one that used to be at The Hermitage would qualify.  It was reclaimed by a member of the family that lent it to the museum (in 1922), but I believe he was planning to display it when the Banjo Collectors met in Nashville in 2010.  I believe James Hartel would know about that, he was corresponding with the banjo's owner that summer.

In 2007 I pestered the old Tom Briggs group (before this Ning one started) with a thread about the Hermitage banjo, and for better and worse that may still be read here (but I believe the photo files have been lost): 


I copied several of the photos and could PM them to you if it's of interest -- and if somebody didn't take better ones at the 2010 collectors meeting.

Razyn  could get link to work,,, love to see photos if you could pm some   thank you

I think you need to copy the whole url (through XYU) and paste it into your browser, rather than just clicking on it.  Something about Ning made part of the url not translate into html.

I'll see if I can upload a photo here.  Sometimes I can make that trick work -- not always.


thank you,,, beautiful banjo,,, I know its weird ,,, but I find these old beauties much more attractive than new "pretty" ones


OK, since that worked, I'll post the other three I saved.  These were taken by the curator at The Hermitage, at my request, in 2007.  They used to be posted (with several others) in the Files area of that Google group, but Google quit supporting that feature.  I saved six of them before that part of the site was disabled.


kinda looks like waxed thread for string?

Nothing authentic about the thread -- that was just an inept reconstruction for display sometime.  They used gut strings, and probably a (silk?) wound bass if available -- and in Texas, it probably wasn't.  I do have a 1971 b&w photo showing the original bridge, that was lost by the time these photos were taken.


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