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Odd and Fun Things from the Past

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AAAndrew:
As some of you are aware, I spend a fair amount of my limited free time looking at old books, catalogs, city directories, etc... for my research into the history of the US steel pen industry. https://thesteelpen.com/

Well, sometimes I come across funny things, like advertisements or newspaper articles that just catch my eye. I figured some of you are interested in old things, and even a few of you have a sense of humor as twisted as mine, so I thought I might share a few things from time to time.

Here's my first. It's an ad from 1884 for the first paddle and ball game.

AAAndrew:
The fanciest banjo I've ever seen. Stewart made many banjos, but this was their fanciest. This was $125 in 1880, about $3000 today.

Interestingly, before microphones and amplification, banjos were preferred for bands instead of guitars because they're louder. Banjos were, at one time, considered even a classical instrument and what we could call classical music today was written for banjo orchestras.

AAAndrew:
From an 1831 newspaper.

KristinT:
That marriage announcement reads like quite the burn on Mrs. Earnest!

That banjo is gorgeous!  What a showpiece.  I wonder if anyone found that model very practical to play, as none of that ornamentation is remotely necessary.  I'm fortunate enough to own a beautiful bowl back mandolin from the early 1900s, and truly, antique instruments are delightful to handle.  Thank you for sharing these!

AnasaziWrites:
Regards the banjo:  what's really unusual is the fact it's a 5 string, not the more common (at that time) four string. Most of the 4 strings go for well under $1000. With that carving, it may fetch more than 3K if it were for sale now.
Good for old-timey music, with that open back. Not so good imho for bluegrass.

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