British Makers and Distributors of the 20th c. click for more

In the 1930's the major British Banjo makers produced a lot of instruments for others, like small distributors, big shops and minor celebrities to re-brand and distribute. Some like Alvin Keech or JeTeL are fairly easy to find information on, but a lot of them I can find very little about beyond the fact that they branded Banjoleles, very often made by GH&S and including the Lion stamp, (it may be the case that some of them were House brands for GH&S?). There were also a number of small British Banjo makers/luthiers at the beginning of the 20th century for whom it is also difficult to find much information on I am including here
One final note and its a General one - If you see a small British made banjo instrument with 8 strings it is a Banjo Mandolin not a Banjolele

A.V. Ebblewhite

A.W. Ebblewhite, despite what it says on the label, was actually a distributor not a manufacturer and most of the banjoleles were actually made by Windsor. The company was in business until 1966 but there is some debate about its founding I have seen it suggested it started in 1840 and in the 1880's but these both seem early if the company lasted until just after the death of the founders son?

Francis, Day & Hunter - FDH Ltd.

A UK music publisher from the 19th c, incorporated in 1926, (so anything with Ltd. on it was made after 1926), and still in business today though as a subsidiary of EMI. Like other UK music publishers of the 20's and 30's, they tried their hand at musical instrument distribution and amongst other things, they distributed 2 types of Gibson guitar from 1936 to 1939 branded FDH. Nowadays people try to say anything branded FDH is a re-branded Gibson, They are not! All of the re-branded banjo instruments, (not just Banjoleles), I have seen came from GH&S. The Banjoleles I have seen are all re-branded from the Melody range Carnival was a Melody Junior and Festival, a Melody Uke. (I have seen another GH&S Banjolele branded Pageant and I don't know if this was part of FDH's line up or not?). Another set of brand names they used was Golden Knight and Silver Knight, again made by GH&S, and these were diferenciated by (I believe) coloured lacquer or paint work. I have never seen an FDH branded Ukulele.

Merry Bright

Rose Morris made; not GH&S. I have also seen it suggested that this actually was a Rose Morris brand but have no definite proof?

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