... the eldest of 8 children born in Lancashire (Ulverston?) he always advertised himself as "the pioneer maker of mandolins and guitars in Great Britain" and from about 1886 appears to have also made zither- banjos in his factory at 4a Kentish Town Road, London. A feature of these instruments was the balalaika-type of machine head faced with a highly engraved nickel silver plate; all the buttons being on the one side.
About the year 1890 he produced a banjo with a hoop of aluminum and claimed to be the first to use this metal for a banjo hoop. In 1893, in conjunction with J. E. Nott-Barnes, he was running the St.Cecilia B.M. & G. Club in which he later claimed to have played the first piccolo banjo, an instrument he had himself made. (In 1896 he was the official conductor of the club at its concerts.)
In May 1903, Messrs James Sinton Ltd. of 151/153 Wardorf Street, London, were advertising "J. G. Winder mandolins etc. are made in our London workshops" yet in the picture of his "factory" is a notice"Albert Hopkins sole agent for J G Winder's English Made Mandolines and Banjos"
In February 1910 he wrote from 532 Caledonian Road, London, N. "as a musical instrument maker" to the President of the Board of Trade (on the occasion of the opening of "Labour Exchanges") suggesting a scheme for teaching the making of musical instruments.
He said he would like to see established a "School of Musical Instrument Making" with reading room. library and museum "to teach in a first-class and up-to-date manner."
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