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Schmick peg head

William Schmick

Schmick front

 ...  of 514 N 9th St., New Jersey took out a patent on September 23rd 1914 for his “Lyric” banjo, tenor-banjo, mandolin-banjo and guitar-banjo.  Speaking of the instruments at the time “The Crescendo” said “While this new arrival resembles the English zither pattern, and indeed was modelled after that type, every essential feature represents a change from all previous forms of banjo production, the inventors object being to produce an instrument that would be effective with gut strings instead of wire.  

            The head forms the lid of a wooden box and is self-contained; that is it is not fixed to the box as all but just rests there and acts like a second bridge for the strings.  When the strings are removed this head, with its novel hoop for tightening, can be lifted out of the enclosure.  It is not necessary to do this every time you wish to tighten the head, however, for special brackets are provided for that purpose, hidden from view but easily accessible around the top of the vellum.  When a new head is needed one can be put on without disturbing the neck or the dowel piece, and the instrument re-strung and played at once for the vellum always remains at the same height, no matter how loose or tight it is.”

            This instrument had a hoop constructed on similar lines to that used in zither-banjos but in the upper perimeter were 22/24 sound holes.  It apparently sold, far as late a 1925 Carl Fischer Inc. were selling them in their New York, Chicago and Boston shops according to their advertisements.


images courtesy of M Beadles

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