In an article in an 1894 issue of "The Banjo World," it mentions that Wells of Reading (the banjo maker) "has just completed a zither-banjo with a zinc (instead of wood) back." No other details of this instrument or any others by Mr. Wells have been unearthed, but the, quoted article infers he was not an unknown person as a maker of banjos and zither-banjos.
Note: A Deane was also making 5 string banjos in Caversham on the North bank of the river Thames at Reading about this time.
Do you have a pre 1940's banjo by this maker? can you supply us some images?
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