Today I received from a friend a copy of the January 1922 BMG magazine.

(Yep, over 100 years old!)

These old magazines are getting harder and harder to find, but if you have a copy that is missing from our database, and you are prepared to scan or loan it, I will be pleased to add it.

The PDF scan has been made searchable and has been uploaded to the John Field Memorial Library.

Enjoy!

Ian

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Very cool!  This is the issue where they tease the release of the Professional. 

This issue is a fantastic time capsule. There is much that is still instructive and other parts that are amusing, mostly deliberately so.  One thing puzzled me. George Lansing describes the difficulties of playing a banjo on poor condition. He describes one banjo with frayed strings of the wrong diameter, a far-too-slack vellum and a bridge that "had no emery on its feet". Emery on its feet?  Does anyone know what he is talking about?

I am not sure who started it, but after that point many (if not most) bridges for a time would have the feet dipped in glue and then emery to make the bottom like sandpaper.

"Non slip", "Neverslip", and other variations of that was used to describe this feature in advisements. 



Jody Stecher said:

This issue is a fantastic time capsule. There is much that is still instructive and other parts that are amusing, mostly deliberately so.  One thing puzzled me. George Lansing describes the difficulties of playing a banjo on poor condition. He describes one banjo with frayed strings of the wrong diameter, a far-too-slack vellum and a bridge that "had no emery on its feet". Emery on its feet?  Does anyone know what he is talking about?

Hey, I can add one, too; just received and scanned it a couple of weeks ago.

It's missing a cover, but whatevs, as the kids say. Joel, note page five and the electrifying thrill-ride discussion of bridges. (Grover Non-Tip is "the latest novelty" — herein previewed.) I'm posting a DropBox link since one isn't allowed to attach files larger than 5MB here and I'm not keen on compromising the image integrity. (Ian, please feel free to download and add to the Field Library; I've tried to keep it as close as possible to your preferred formatting with this in mind.) And Jody, I think I'm going to need Emery on my feet as I become evermore uncertain of where I'm heading with my recent "progressive" lenses. >Sob!< My wasted youth.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dkj6ay47beth108/BMG_1906_05.pdf

Warmest of wishes to all, C.

Thanks for the scan Chris!  I had edited the file a bit and added it to the John Field Memorial Library for all to download.

Good to see you back on here.

Regarding Emery:

Emery is a mineral used as an abrasive in industry.  Very fine forms are glued to cloth to make a durable and strong "sand paper". I guess that gluing it on bridge feet will both stop the bridge slipping and rapidly wear a hole in the vellum. I also guess this why it is not used nowadays.

I use good old Violin bow rosin to stop my bridge slipping.

Cool article Chris!  Thanks for sharing.

Does anyone have an example of the Alfred Blunt sound post bridge?

I've never had a bridge slip on me while playing. Yah, I've had a few snap down when re-stringing or intonating after re-stringing but never when I'm playing. I've never used anything on my feet, although sometimes they're slippery after a pedicure. ;-)

I imagine it is due to my playing style, which is usually pretty far north of the bridge and low on the aggressive scale...

I have spent many boring hours polishing metal parts with Emery cloth. Shades of my misspent youth rebuilding car/airplane engines.

The only bridges that have tipped over when I've played are the cylinder-footed zither-banjo bridges.  I have found both the originals and the reproduction bridges of this type to be unstable. I've never used emery or rosin or anything else because I haven't found the need with any other kind of bridge.  The two-footed bridges I use for classic banjo have been stable even when I play hard.

I wonder if anything that gets between the vellum and the bottom of the bridge feet will affect the sound quality of the banjo.

I imagine one might have a problem with hair-oil (if one were playing in full reenactor mode). Greasy fingers = greasy banjo head = slipping bridges?

Might be better to use some sort of hair product that is stickier. Mohawk juice?

I have a cylinder-footed "Windsor" bridge on my ZB. It is so short though that I might not notice if it fell over...

Jody Stecher said:

The only bridges that have tipped over when I've played are the cylinder-footed zither-banjo bridges.  I have found both the originals and the reproduction bridges of this type to be unstable. I've never used emery or rosin or anything else because I haven't found the need with any other kind of bridge.  The two-footed bridges I use for classic banjo have been stable even when I play hard.

I wonder if anything that gets between the vellum and the bottom of the bridge feet will affect the sound quality of the banjo.

I've not needed anything for top frosted plastic heads.  I have found slipping with hide heads, depending on the tailpiece. Some tailpieces can swing side to side. Also with smooth plastic heads. 

Rosin is my first choice.  The emery does work and I have a bag of the stuff that I can dip bridges in glue and then into just like the period examples but I have yet to have any takers for that. 

I can't say that I've ever had one fall over outside of the examples Marc provided, but when it happens it is like a gunshot!

I was intonating on the kitchen table once and had the bridge fall over with a bang. Scared the daylights out of Miz Diane...and the dog wouldn't go near me for a week.

My first minstrel era banjo had a mylar head and I expected the bridge to be an issue, esp. tuned to Briggs dGDF#A. Never had it slip. Didn't have to roast it over the fire to tighten the head at the first AEBG either. ;-)

Joel Hooks said:

I've not needed anything for top frosted plastic heads.  I have found slipping with hide heads, depending on the tailpiece. Some tailpieces can swing side to side. Also with smooth plastic heads. 

Rosin is my first choice.  The emery does work and I have a bag of the stuff that I can dip bridges in glue and then into just like the period examples but I have yet to have any takers for that. 

I can't say that I've ever had one fall over outside of the examples Marc provided, but when it happens it is like a gunshot!

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