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 ...  came to England from the USA in 1888  having initiall trained as a vilolinist, where, with many introductions to London's high society, he was encouraged in his musical career by people such as Sir Arthur Sulivan.  He had learned the Zither style of banjo playing in New York from aged 14 and was well versed in public performances by the time he crossed the pond.


He set up a partnership to make banjos with Clifford Essex but when that was disolved in 1900,  Cammeyer  took over the workshops (established in 1896 at 13 Greek Street, Soho) for the production of his own instruments then later under the name of The Cammeyer Music and  Manufacturing Co.,  Swallow Street, London.


These were mainly zither-banjos but some banjos (and later, plectrum banjos and tenor banjos) were made. The man in charge of the workshops was Sidney W. Young who was responsible for the designs of the famous "Vibrante" and "Vibrante Royal" zither-banjos and the "New Era" banjos bearing the Cammeyer name.


When Cammeyer retired from business in 1939, Sidney Young took over the workshop at Richmond Buildings, Soho, and continued to make instruments under his own name up to the outbreak of World War II. After the war he established a workshop at 70 New Oxford St., "here he worked in conjunction with John Alvey Turner Ltd. until his retirement in 1963.


When Cammeyer died Young acquired the stock of Cammeyer "parts" and timber and from these produced many "Vibrante" zither banjos but these instruments do not carry the facsimile signature of Alfred D. Cammeyer, which first appeared on Cammeyer instruments after July 1st, 1900 and was attached to all his instruments until the date of his retirement.


For more information click here

Alfred Davies  Cammeyer   1862 to 1949

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