The Pacific company were one of the early large scale firms producing plucked string instruments in Australia. Established in Melbourne during the late 1940s by Hec McLennan, Pacific produced cheap guitars and banjo mandolins and were contemporaries of the Maton guitar company and of Olson, Iverson and Richards who were producing the Kord-King pedal steel guitar at about the same time. Early versions of banjo mandolins were branded as HEC McLennan instruments before the Pacific name was adopted. McLennan was a banjo player and performer whose recordings date from the 1920s. Hybrid instruments such as the banjo mandolin and banjo ukulele became popular from the 1920s and were used in jazz band and popular band contexts. However, they also became widely played by many amateurs when popularity increased for Hawaiian music. Banjo and mandolin clubs were established as well as others like the Hawaiian Club that popularised this musical style. Film stars and performers such as George Formby in Britain also contributed to the popularity of these kinds of instruments.
Curator, music & musical instruments