This is my Bacon & Day Silver Bell No. 3 plectrum banjo.
The banjo has all of its Banjo & Day original parts. Based on the
serial number it dates to ca. 1927. It was amazingly purchased off an
internet auction. The banjo had been in storage for over twenty years
before being put up for bid. It belonged to a lady whose grandmother had
purchased it in the 1920s and was a performer in the Alaskan gold mining
towns during the roaring '20s and '30s. Needless to say it has a rich
This banjo had seen a lot of playing time when I got it.
Being a banjo novice my first inclination was to get out all of my wife's
cleaners and give it a good overhaul. But taking the sage advice of banjo
collector Michael Shames I decided to let
a professional banjo luthier do the job. Michael suggested Renee Karnes of
California who is regarded as one of the best luthiers in the world.
Coincidently I met her at the 1999 FIGA banjo convention being held in
Nashville, Tennessee. Renee faithfully restored the banjo to its original