Teed Six-String Banjo

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Description (Brief)
This banjo was made by George Teed of New York, New York around 1862. It has 8 brackets with a brass hoop and resonator made from rosewood veneer with inlaid design. The brass hoop is etched: “George Teed [/] [ ] 8th 1862” which likely refers to the patent Teed received for his improvement in banjos, U. S. Patent #34,913, April 8th, 1862. Teed is listed in the New York City directory from 1860-1861 as a turner with a home address of 497 E. Houston. Like many craftsmen in the woodworking trades, Teed may have made banjos as a secondary business.

This early commercial banjo has top-tensioning screws to adjust the tightness of the head and a closed back resonator body designed to project the sound outwards towards the audience. Like similar mid-century banjos patented by Henry Dobson, it may have been actually made by the Buckbee company of New York.
Currently not on view
date made
Teed, George
place made
United States: New York, New York
overall: 35 1/4 in x 11 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 89.535 cm x 29.845 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
GIft of Roger D. Abrahams
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History