Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Banjo History

Twin Minstrels playing banjos behind their heads
S S Stewart's Sons Professional by Rettberg and Lange 1902
Click to Enlarge
S.S. Stewart factory illustrations 1883
Banjos are important American instruments. Banjos descended from gourd instruments brought to the New World by enslaved Africans as early as the 17th century. By the 1840's white musicians were playing them in minstrel shows. Later on they were heard in the Victorian parlor. Later still, banjos were used in hokum, ragtime, jazz and bluegrass music.
Primitive Banjos, Guitar Banjos, Mandolin Banjos, Banjo Ukes, Tenor Banjos, 5-string Banjos.
I always loved the details on the S.S. Stewart banjos. There are many wonderful vintage images of banjo players.
I found these pictures by following the links at
Read up on the history of the banjo. A great American instrument. I have used them in my artwork because I love them.

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