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2005/56/1 Banjulele with case and plectrum, combination banjo and ukulele, timber / metal / aluminium / calfskin / nylon / cardboard / velvet / felt, made by Alvin D Keech, United States of America, 1918 - 1945. Click to enlarge.

Banjulele made by Alvin D Keech

Made
The growth of jazz music during the late teens and early 1920s brought with it the use of a number of instruments to play this relatively new musical form. One of these instruments was the banjo which was used for rhythmic accompaniment and which with a skin resonator could be heard unamplified in the overall mix of other instruments in the jazz band such as the piano, trumpet and trombone. Having its origins in Africa and its later development in the southern USA, the banjo was well placed to …

Summary

Object No.

2005/56/1

Object Statement

Banjulele with case and plectrum, combination banjo and ukulele, timber / metal / aluminium / calfskin / nylon / cardboard / velvet / felt, made by Alvin D Keech, United States of America, 1918 - 1945

Physical Description

Combination banjo and ukulele known as a "Banjulele". Circular body with vellum skin stretched over metal frame and housed within circular wooden body. Seven tension rods (one missing) attached to aluminuim frame. A wooden resonator forms the back of the body. There are four nylon strings, a wooden neck with 17 frets, four tuning pegs in headstock and a wooden bridge.

Black hard cardboard and fabric case with blue felt of velvet lining. Railway luggage labels fixed to top of lid. There is a green felt plectrum.

Production

Notes

Name registered in 1925 under the name 'Banjulele'. Possibly also patented PAT 219720/23 . Actual production numbers or the period of production unknown. Popularised and produced by brothers Kelvin and Alvin D Keech in the USA, this particular one was manufactured between 1918 and 1945.

History

Notes

The banjulele was given to the donor by his parents in England during the 1930s or 1940s and used by the donor in amateur dance bands. Possibly purchased second hand.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Derek Parker, 2005

Acquisition Date

8 February 2005

Cite this Object

Harvard

Banjulele made by Alvin D Keech 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 June 2021, <https://ma.as/349023>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/349023 |title=Banjulele made by Alvin D Keech |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 June 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}