Teed Six-String Banjo

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
Object Name
date made
Teed, George
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
head: 1 1/2 in x 11 9/16 in; 3.81 cm x 29.369 cm
banjo: 35 1/8 in x 11 3/4 in x 2 5/8 in; 89.2175 cm x 29.845 cm x 6.6675 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
GIft of Roger D. Abrahams
Additional Media

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