LINK TO TUTOR BOOKS

For those who missed the scan of the old CE banjos catalogue I have uploaded to the TUTOR BOOKS page... I couldn't think of where else to put it!

It is interesting to see the banjos as they were marketed in the 20s and 30s

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I just spent a pleasant half hour perusing this wondrous catalogue.  I found the accessories section particularly arresting for its  variety of designs of dubious merit, especially of plectra. Some of the descriptions seem odd as well. An arm rest is called a "wrist wrest" in this section. I don't think I could play very well resting my wrist so far from the strings or play more than a few minutes in that position without injuring my tendons.  And then there's the Paragon hoop rim cap made of the very finest White Erinoid. The name suggests something similar to Ireland but not the thing itself. I investigated. It's casein, which is made from milk!  The name also suggests "adenoid ".   Not something one should mention on the same page that extols fine tone.  Then there is the instruction book "How To Jazz On The Tenor Banjo.".   Yikes!   All in all a curious and fascinating document.

"The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there". I wish I'd said that, as it sums it all up so nicely. Things have changed quite a bit in the intervening years. Plastic was quite a new thing at the time so the 'Erinoid' would have been seen as a 'cutting edge' material and may have been expensive.

Yes indeed. Erinoid seems to have been The Latest Thing. Garment buttons were made from Erinoid.  I have used oud plectrums made from casein. It produces a pleasing tone and the material has a nice flexibility and "sproing" but this material cracks after a few months' use. I would expect that from material with a more brittle feel.  Anybody with a Paragon here on the forum?  Has the Erinoid hoop rim cap cracked?  That would tell us if casein items crack through use or simply from age, since there is no abrasion at all to that part of the banjo, especially when covered by a resonator.

Richard William Ineson said:

"The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there". I wish I'd said that, as it sums it all up so nicely. Things have changed quite a bit in the intervening years. Plastic was quite a new thing at the time so the 'Erinoid' would have been seen as a 'cutting edge' material and may have been expensive.

Yes , cracked on my Paragon

Thanks for letting me know, Marc.  I wonder why this catalogue has no Regal model.



marc dalmasso said:

Yes , cracked on my Paragon

I find the "Grover adjustable bridge", No 7, really interesting! Made out of Aluminium. Has anyone ever tried something like that?

I've played 2 or 3 old  mandolins with aluminium bridges. They sound awful.  Aluminum/Aluminium was considered to be the Latest and the Greatest. Like Casein/Erinoid, it was new so it must be "better",  That seems to have been what was thought.

I've seen those Grover bridges for sale on ebay a few times, but never on a banjo... I wonder why?

Perhaps because no one who tries one of these keeps it on the banjo for very long. I would surmise that the tone quality was found to be wanting.

Joel Hooks said:

I've seen those Grover bridges for sale on ebay a few times, but never on a banjo... I wonder why?

The 'Regal' model had probably not been introduced at the time this version of the CE catalogue was produced. I posted a dated advert from the B.M.G. announcing the introduction of that model some time ago which must still be on here somewhere.



Jody Stecher said:

Thanks for letting me know, Marc.  I wonder why this catalogue has no Regal model.



marc dalmasso said:

Yes , cracked on my Paragon

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