The firm of HA Weymann & Son of 923 Market Street, Philadelphia Pa., was established in 1864 as makers of stringed instruments. As early as 1903 they were advertising themselves as music dealers and manufacturers of the celebrated “Keystone” mandolins, banjos and guitars.
In February 1917 they were incorporate and moved to 1108 Chestnut Street and it was soon after this that thy commenced to make the range of banjos by which they became known all over the world. These instruments were of a type in which wood played a major part. The hoops were made entirely of wood, built up in two separate sections (upper and lower) of ten laminations, and tapered internally to give what was claimed to be a “megaphonic effect” . The brackets for tightening the vellum passed through the lower section of the hoop which protruded enough to take them.
The range was called “Orchestral” instruments and were fitted with a patent “combination neck brace and adjuster” and special Weymann “Four to One” (registered) centre-gear tuning pegs. In addition they had a “Patented Tone Resonator” (fitted to the banjo hoop by felt covered spring clamps) which had a fretwork designed metal flange connected to its upper edge.
By 1928 the firm had moved to Tenth & Filbert Streets, Philadelphia and its subtlety renamed “Orchestra” banjos ranged in price from $140 to $420 while its “Keystone State” range (fitted with non-detachable resonators) were priced from $35 to $85. The firm seems to have stopped manufacturing banjos in the early 1930’s.
Pictures of banjo-ukulele courtesy of Smakulas Fretted Instruments
Pictures of 5 string & tenor courtesy of Steve Prior
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