Skip to main content

Smithsonian Institution Collections

Teed Six-String Banjo

  • Teed Six-String Banjo
  • Teed Six-String Banjo
  • Teed Six-String Banjo
  • Teed Six-String Banjo
  • Teed Six-String Banjo
Smithsonian Museum
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Description
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Maker
Teed, George
Date Made
1862
Credit Line
GIft of Roger D. Abrahams
Measurements
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
Object Type
banjo