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A patent issued to H C Middlebrook in 1891 regarding "improvements" to the way the neck is attached to the pot and a new fretting system, formed the basis of the Lion company.


In an advertisement in the Sept-Oct 1885 issue of “The Cadenza” the Lion Banjo Manufacturing Co., of Rock Rapids, Iowa, USA  announced “A great revolution in banjo and guitar making .  Many new features ..  sloping frets, hollow hoop, new tailpiece but no side peg” and “ An entirely new method of attaching neck to hoop”.


A photograph in the advertisement shows a banjo with the octave peg located in the peg head; 5th string apparently being carried from the 5th fret through a zither type banjo tunnel to the peg head.


However unlike the English made "zither" banjos the 5th string emerges in the centre of the peg head rather than to the bass side.


The company which also manufactured guitars and mandolins exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893


Images courtesy of Carl Miller


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