Dating orpheum banjos

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As my collection evolves, banjos presented on the home page of this site may be removed and added to a "banjos I previously owned" page.

All Stewart's banjos could be ordered in a variety of inlay patterns which ranged from simple dots to highly elaborate works of art. Stewart, never one to miss a promotional oportunity, offered his 20th Century model beginning circa 1896.

Stewart also offered heel designs that ranged from plain to floral designs; Presentation Banjos were offered with human or animal carvings. The Student, Amateur, and the 2nd Grade were all aimed at the entry level player. As the 19th Century drew to a close, many manufacturers used that fact to promote instruments that were noted more for their hype than value. At it was only less than his Thoroughbred, but was considerably plainer, if still well made. Stewart banjos manufactured with serial numbers from around 1000 through 71,000 with an unexplained gap from 20,000 through 49,999.

In 1894 or 1895 the adjustable neck fastener replaced the earlier, non-adjustable one, on all banjos listed at and above, although in the 1896 catalog, both are shown, as is the trade mark for the Thoroughbred banjos which was probably in use for at least 10 years before it was registered.

In January 1898 Stewart joined with George Bauer, who had been in business himself manufacturing guitars and mandolins from circa 1894.

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