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The Guitar Medic

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Early 1900's Tenor (4-String) Open-Back Banjo (No Brand Found)

This open-back tenor (4-string) banjo belonged to my father-in-law Clark Wilson (d. 8/26/1989). Clark had this banjo for a lot of years. According to his wife, he traded something for it (she doesn't remember what). His daughter (my wife) remembers that when she was young her dad took it camping with the family. There is no brand or manufacturer's logo anywhere on this banjo.
In the late winter of 2008 (January-February time frame), I had several discussions with my wife about this banjo, but had never seen it. My father-in-law was a musically-inclined guy, who played piano, ukulele, and banjo. He may have also played mandolin but did not have one. I became curious about the banjo, because for a long time I had been thinking I'd like to learn to play. So that prompted me to ask Mrs. Wilson if she minded if I restored it. She knew that I was involved in guitar lutherie. She said I could have it. But I didn't go get it until late summer of that same year. She dug through her closet and found it, and gave it to me around August or September 2008.
Below are pictures of the banjo as it was received from Mrs. Wilson. It was in much worse condition than I thought it might be--given the many discussions I had had with my wife about her dad playing it. Apparently it had been stored away for some time. The fretboard was dried out and cracked, and only part of it was accounted for as seen in the photos. But structurally the banjo was great. The neck was straight and no drying out, and the drum head was original, and no issues. All the wood was in great condition. My wife went go to her mother's home and found the other half of the fretboard.
Upon close examination, it appears the banjo is made with the following materials:
Bearclaw Tailpiece
Head - Pigskin?
Rim - Birdseye Maple
Neck - Maple -- No truss rod, but has angle adjuster
Fretboard/Fingerboard - Rosewood
Simple Tension Hoop / Tone Ring
Headstock - Maple with Rosewood Headplate
Tuning Machines - Friction Style (unknown maker) Ivoroid Buttons
These pictures are shown for the purpose of showing the condition on 4/13/2009 as I decided to begin restoring it.