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Barnes & Mullins


B&M Trumelo Banjolele circa 1926
1920's Trumelo
MiJ barnes and mullins champion 1960s
1960's MiJ Champion Soprano
Barnes and Mullins the Gresse spruce spalt maple Tenor
the Gresse Tenor
Founded in the 1894 by Samuel Bowley Barnes and Albert Edward Mullins. The partnership started out editing a Banjo magazine called the Jo but soon realised they could use this as a way of selling their own branded product and thus the distribution company was born. In the early days I have only seen Banjoleles branded buy them and often called Trumelo too. Certainly in the 60's they were distributing Japanese imported Ukuleles branded Champion, (whether this has anything to do with the US distributor Grossman's Champion brand that was also used on Japanese imports I'm not sure but I think not?), and Banjoleles branded B&M

The company, (Sam and Al are long dead), are still in business today and still re-branding instruments made by others. In the past it was companies like Abbott and Windsor, now it is companies like Dae Won. These days they don't only distribute Banjos and Ukuleles though, they have a full catalogue of instruments they can supply, including wooden Ukulele of all scales from Soprano to Baritone in a number of designs that have traditional sounding names like "the Bowley" "the Calthorpe" or "the Gresse" to indicate the wood choices involved.

As well as distributing their own self titled brand of instruments they also are British or European distributors for a number of other brands. Some. like Peavey or Hofner I know they just distribute but others like Brunswick and Lazy I'm not sure if they own as well? 

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