C. Bruno & Son Banjo Ukulele

Description (Brief)
This banjo ukulele was sold by C. Bruno & Son, Inc. in New York, New York around 1916-1925. The wholesale musical instrument merchandiser was founded in 1834 by Charles Bruno. Charles, Jr. joined his father around 1862 and later served as the company’s president until his death in 1912.

A nationwide enthusiasm for all things Hawaiian was sparked by performances of hula dancing and ukulele playing at the Hawaiian Pavilion during the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Within months, banjos tuned and played like Hawaiian ukuleles were marketed to capitalize on the growing interest.

In a 1927 advertisement in the Music Trade Review, the Bruno company asserted: “In conscientiously marketing, advancing and promoting the products of the makers, "Bruno" likewise has served the best interests of a great host of retail music dealers throughout the world. And so through this development, the trade slogan "Bruno Means Security" was evolved.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
banjo ukulele
date made
C. Bruno & Son
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 21 in x 7 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 53.34 cm x 19.685 cm x 6.35 cm
overall: 21 in x 7 3/4 in x 2 5/8 in; 53.34 cm x 19.685 cm x 6.6675 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.