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family tradition

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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
Topic starter  

A few months back, I helped my parents move to town from the farm, and one of the treasures to come out of storage was my Grandmother's mandolin.
At the time I became the custodian of this artifact, as I'm the only one who platys any sort of instrument.

Well, this week I pulled it out and did a couple of minor repairs - fill a stripped out screw hole on the tailpiece and replace the screw, and glue a small crack in the back.
This morning I tuned it up for the first time in more than 40 years.
Wow, what a cool little instrument.
It was an interesting feeling to think that i was playing an instrument (and strings) that had last been played by my grandmother probably before I was born.
My dad doesn't remember ever hearing her play it, and my uncle (2 years younger than dad) didn't even know that she ever owned an instrument.

Apparently there is a picture of her with it somewhere in the family archive. Hopefully it has a date written on the picture.

There are no markings on it. as far as we can tell it's probably depression era, and is about the quality one would expect a farmer's daughter of the era to own.

I've downloaded a mando tab of "Grandfather's Clock" and am now off to amuse myself.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Very, very cool!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

great family heirloom. glad you have it. it looks like a Roy Smeck model. not expensive but pretty well made.
I am no expert. it just looks like that brand. my uke has the same look; same era too.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

That's cool man. 8)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@twistedlefty)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 

Great find!
vintage instruments are sooo nice. clips?

#4491....


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
Topic starter  

Great find!
vintage instruments are sooo nice. clips?
After I get some new strings. (the ones on it are older than I am)
And a microphone.
and a bit of practice. :wink:

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801
 

Man, what a priceless moment for you. That is awsome. I think there is a song to be written about that.

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Cool instrument! :D

Have fun!


   
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(@scrybe)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2241
 

That is soooo kewl, having an instrument that is a family heirloomm from so long ago!

After my pops passed away, I inherited his musical instruments - it has long been accepted that this would happen, since I'm the only one of his four kids who learned and kept up with music. I now have two guitars, a violin and a banjo of his. The violin and banjo are not major models and need repairs, but I treasure them anyway (the violin's bow is bent and needs replacing, as does the skin on the banjo). The guitars are in good shape, although one could do with a refret in the coming months. But it was such a comfort to me, being able to play the tunes he'd taught me on his guitar after he passed away - it really made me feel like he was still around in some way. By teaching me to play guitar, he gave me something I can never lose or have taken away from me.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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(@corbind)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

That mandolin looks so cool! Definitely revive it with some new strings and get at it.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@crkt246)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 592
 

Looks like a Martin. man that is cool :D


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
Topic starter  

I've been shining a light into the soundhole, and looking around with a mirror.
I can't see any evidence that the usual paper label was ever glued inside the thing. No glue remnants.
I would have thought that any maker with a name would have put some sort of label on it...

The only interesting thing I see on the inside is that it's ladder braced.

Oh well. Maybe I'll take it around to a local shop that specializes in acoustic instruments and see if they recognize it. And buy some extra-light strings while I'm there.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

Wow!!! That is a beautiful instrument!!! Lucky you!!!

Have you considered that it may not have been manufactured by a company, but rather hand built by a local luthier who didn't put labels inside? I know that during the depression era, lots of people had to earn money however they could, and that a local craftsman would probably build and sell instruments for less money than they could be bought by an actual manufacturer (if the manufacturers of "luxury" items were still even in business at that time). Can you see, with your little flashlight, anything that might look like a carved or stamped makers mark?

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
Topic starter  

Interesting thought, Electra.
I'd like that to be the case, but I'm not so sure.

There are a few things that point to it being a factory made mail order catalog instrument. (does anyone have an Eatons or Sears catalog from shortly after the end of WW1 ?)

There are a couple of runs in the finish on the neck and headstock.
And there is a small knot in the wood on the back.
The rest of the assembly seems to be generally done with more skill (or care).

To me that adds up to a factory.

But none of that matters to me. It just makes for some interesting speculation.
I wish I had a chance to talk to someone who was around at the time my grandmother bought it, but that generation is long gone.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@ksac32)
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