Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

19th Century military/ Card game & musical instruments

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Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on January 24, 2012 at 11:49pm

How many instruments can be found in this picture? There's 4 I can identify. Cool looking banjo.

Comment by Dave Culgan on January 25, 2012 at 7:34am

Well there's at least two accordeons! 5 Drons, 5 instruments. Now let's match 'em up. The worried & insecure looking fellow on the right must play the 5 string (or maybe he's just drew a bad hand).

The banjo is interesting, I almost thought I was seeing those cheap hex shoes for head tightening hardware but the blurry blob I see when I zoom in looks t00 large. Probably some kind of lathe turned piece. Dave Culgan

Comment by Ian Bell on January 25, 2012 at 8:12am

There's a wooden flute on the mantle as well. What's the banjo propped up on?

Comment by Bell Banjos on January 25, 2012 at 9:58am

The lad second from the right must be the banjo player. Shify eyes, picking the pocket of the tall guy, and his eyes are on the photographer's wife.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on January 25, 2012 at 10:47am

That's great O'l Dan tucker...I thought those were accordions. Ironically, just before I stumbled onto this picture I had watched a video of one of the Camp Town Shakers playing an old accordion. I wasn't sure but then noticed there were two in the room, but still wasn't 100%. Same with the Flute.  Cool Picture!

Comment by Bell Banjos on January 25, 2012 at 11:18am

I thought the accordions we P.A. systems

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on January 25, 2012 at 12:03pm

Or two very stocky typewriters. I don't know what if any type of P.A. systems were  in use during that time. I do love the stack of gear on the floor; a Banjo, some type of short barrel shotgun or rifle,which is pointing at the guy in the front, and it appears, based on the shape, that there is another firearm which the Banjo is resting on. A lot to take in in this picture.

Comment by Dave Culgan on January 25, 2012 at 12:48pm

haha - they do look like my old Peavey system, just waiting a few genearations for a place to plug in. And Nicholas, ironically that was me playing the thing in the video, just like the picture. They're typically referred to as a 'Flutina', but the French manufacturer's would say 'Accordeon Romantique'.

Guns, knives, cards, booze, and music - what's not to like. Oh yeah, the fact you might not live to see the next day. I'd say they deserved their R&R. My whole interest in the Civil War, and why I took up early banjo to start with is in that image. Dave Culgan P.S. I never menat to be stealthy with my nom-de-plume here, just having fun.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on January 25, 2012 at 2:59pm

Well said. I found that picture on either Camptown Shakers Fb photos or 2nd Carolina's, I can't remember which. Yes a very telling photo of the moment and times. Just goes to show how much music was a big part of it.

it was funny, I had just watched your video, and shortly after come across this photo. Of course first saw the banjo, fiddle and guitar, then upon closer inspection other things popped out. I really thought those were  a set of Accordeons, wasn't for sure. And that is a Flute om the Mantel. It sure looks like it.

Comment by Bart McNeil on January 26, 2012 at 10:31am

On the tables under the guitar is a portable writing desk which folds up into a box, probably for military use. I had one of those years ago.


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