The Old-Time Herald Volume 14, Number 1

The Banjo Collector’s Gathering
By Kristina Gaddy
Kristina Gaddy


I magine walking into a room that contains an 1850s minstrel banjo, a replica of the first banjos that existed in the New World, and several early Fairbanks Whyte Laydie banjos—as well as a hundred other banjos, some new, some vintage, some common, some rare.  To all of that add cabinet card photographs of banjo players, posters of minstrel shows, stunning inlay and engravings, and 19th-century banjo catalogs.  This isn’t a banjo exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix or at the National Museum of American History. It’s what the Hyatt Hotel ballroom in Morristown, New Jersey, looked like one weekend this past September. These treasured items from private, world-class banjo collections around the country are displayed once a year for the Nineteenth Century Banjo Gathering.



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