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Harmony Banjoes

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Tom N. Jones 28 Apr 99 - 11:27 AM
Rick Fielding 28 Apr 99 - 02:04 PM
Jon W. 28 Apr 99 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: Harmony Banjoes
From: Tom N. Jones
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 11:27 AM

Can anyone remember when Harmony started molding it's bakelite banjoes? There are tons of old Airline and Silvertone guitars and banjoes made by Harmony (was it Homan Ave.?) in Chicago. the Wards and Sears sold mail order and retail during the 1960's. I know they auctioned off the name and parts when they went under in the early 1970's, but when did they start up?

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Subject: RE: Harmony Banjoes
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 02:04 PM

My first one was bought used in 62, and the salesman said it was 5 years old.

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Subject: RE: Harmony Banjoes
From: Jon W.
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 03:33 PM

According to Mugwumps, Harmony started up in 1903. According to a site I found on the history of bakelite, it became popular and readily available in the 1920's. By the 1960's it was pretty much outdated. So I wouldn't be surprised if Harmony was building banjos with bakelite pots years before then. I've seen these banjos up for auction occasionally on

I saw a couple of banjos with bakelite pots a few years ago at a pawnshop when I was looking for my first banjo. They weren't Harmony, they were cheap knockoffs (can you imagine a cheap imitation of a Harmony?) Still, I kind of wish I had bought one when I had the chance. Now I have the confidence and interest to replace their fiberboard (that's right, fiberboard) fretboards with something decent.

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