I have been slowly adding scans of BMG magazines that have been kindly loaned to me since I created the John Field Memorial LIBRARY. 

Tony Bryan (and his friend Tapis d'Orient) sent John's collection that was originally posted and since then I have received BMG copies from all over the world, so big thanks you to all who have contributed.

Today I am pleased to announce a really special update to the LIBRARY that has come from a collection inherited some time ago by site member  Mike Redman and in turn loaned to our friend Richard Ineson.  Richard and I had discussed scanning some VERY early BMGs and over the last few weeks I have scanned and cleaned up many rather crispy and faded magazines, dating back to the Second monthly edition that was published in November 1903.

Many of the magazines uploaded were published in the run up to and during World War One. It is interesting to see all the references to banjoists in action with the Army and Navy around the world. You can tell that as the months and years of the War progressed the publishing materials were becoming more scarce. The quality of the paper used dropped and the number of pages reduced, but the worse problem is that the paper became tissue paper thin, almost transparent, which makes scanning a real nightmare! The other problem is that the paper, probably due to lack of additives, has turned brown and brittle, so handling these early mags is a delicate job. 

Fortunately, with the help of Photoshop, I have managed to clean up and de-dog ear the pages and the scanned editions are now online for FREE download as PDFs.

Enjoy them, as they are a very interesting insight to Classic Banjo at the time when the Banjo was KING!

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I see what you mean about the opening. But I can't see how he is remaining upright. For that position to work the banjoist's other leg needs to be vertical.  Otherwise balance is precarious.  His torso is turned toward the group, toward the center of the photo. If he is actually standing (and not floating like the ghost of Parke Hunter) the leg whose foot is on the ground should be visible. 

Joel Hooks said:

Many chairs have an opening at the base of the upright back.  The person sitting in the chair could scooch forward enough so that the person standing in the back could put there foot on the seat using that very opening.  It seems pretty obvious how they are standing to me.

BTW, there are many descriptions of Joe Morley playing on stage by standing up with one foot on a chair.  TBJ also stands in three of the Pathe films so it was a pretty common position to play in.

This catalog contains many examples of chairs that have an opening that would allow one to put their foot through for the time it would take to take a photo.  It is a common pattern that is still in use today.

https://archive.org/details/catalog00jwha

The current metal generic folding chairs found all over would allow for this very position if one wanted to recreate the photo.

And here is a catalog with folding chairs from the late 1870s-- nothing is new...

https://archive.org/details/catalog00ehma



Jody Stecher said:

I see what you mean about the opening. But I can't see how he is remaining upright. For that position to work the banjoist's other leg needs to be vertical.  Otherwise balance is precarious.  His torso is turned toward the group, toward the center of the photo. If he is actually standing (and not floating like the ghost of Parke Hunter) the leg whose foot is on the ground should be visible. 

the size of the zyther _banjo player should be about 2 meters and he needs to be in this un comfortable position  to not have his head outside of the picture ….. ?    may be

Making himself shorter.  I see.  Maybe!

marc dalmasso said:

the size of the zyther _banjo player should be about 2 meters and he needs to be in this un comfortable position  to not have his head outside of the picture ….. ?    may be

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