Around about 1870 James Morrison, of 670 Sixth Avenue, New York City, formed a company
for making banjos and in October 1875 the "Morrison Patented Steel Hoop Banjo" was
being offered for sale by Jas. Morrison & Co., of that address.
It was claimed this instrument was "different from other banjos principally in the hoop which is supported by pins driven into the wood rim over which the head is stretched" and was used and recommended by Brooks & Denton, the Dora Bros., Vess L. Ossman, Gregory & Farmer, Grant Brower, F. Wilbur Hill, Thomas E. Glynn, Sam Devere, Billy Carter, etc. etc. in the same advertisement it was said that all these players also sold the Morrison banjo.
By 1903 Morrison was located at 157, E, 67th Street, New York City, from where he advertised
that his instruments were "guaranteed to be the finest-toned in the world, for stage and club use".
For a great many years it is true that the Morrison banjo was considered in America to be the acme
of perfection in tone and durability. When Brooks and Denton formed their partnership in 1885
they claimed to be the sole selling agents in New York for the Morrison banjo.
They were still selling them in 1912.
Pictures courtesy of Bill Neff