1920s Harmony-made "California-Style" Banjo Ukulele

If Harmony didn't make this, Globe Manufacturing did -- though I'm pretty sure that headstock shape and style and the glued-on rear resonator of the instrument puts this in Harmony territory. There were at least four makers at the time that built in slightly-different versions of this style and of those, three of them were mass-market and can be found all over the place and under a zillion different retailer brands.

Recently, a customer of mine unloaded a bunch of funky instruments and I've been trying to find space for them. This one "only needed" XYZ, and so rather than store it, I spruced it up in the small time that was remaining to me at the end of the day. It got a fret level/dress, shim-up of the neck angle, a replacement bridge, a new set of used (but more-recent) friction pegs, a second internal bolt to make the neck joint secure, some side dots, and a good setup.

It's strung with D'Addario Titaniums and plays and sounds "just swell." Action is right-on at 1/16" at the 12th fret and it has a projecting (for its size and style) voice that feels beyond its means. The head is small at 5 1/2" in diameter, afterall, though it does have a small brass-hoop tonering that was factory-installed. This has a "classic soprano" scale at 13" -- just a little shorter than the 13 5/8" to 14" of modern sopranos.

Everything except the bridge and pegs is original to the instrument. The skin head has some old signatures or remembrances written on it.

The neck is the world's finest -- poplar? It's one-piece and the frets are pressed into its top layer. The pretty, multicolored "zipper" details are just decals, by the way. The 1 1/4" width nut is rosewood, though, and original.

I love those little f-holes! Aside from the other work, I reglued a loose bit of seam on the resonator/pot join, too.

The neck has a nice, mild, C-shape to it.

Like many banjos of the time, the rim is wrapped in birdseye maple veneer.