These very early Nationals would all seem to pre-date the invention of the tricone guitar, (the banjo patent was applied for in 1924), and show that John Dopyera was already realizing that he could depart from traditional wooden body construction.
If anyone has any information, pictures, whatever about these instruments, please contact us.
Patent details for both the banjo and banjo uke are now on the patents page.
These Banjos are similar to the one featured in Bob Brozman's book on page 23.
Bob Brozman dates his photograph as a mid-1920's Dopyera Brothers Banjo.
The first instrument shown here has National on the headstock in what appears to be the same style of inlaid badge as on the Harry Watson Style 4 Tricone ( see 'The Harry' page on this site ).
The difference between this & the Harry is that National is written in capital letters on this banjo.
The neck wood and headstock shape appear to be the same as production
National tenor & plectrum guitars.
This next, highly ornate National banjo features an engraved resonator and carved neck heel. I have heard that this engraving has also been seen on similarly built Dobro branded instruments but have never seen one myself.
Note the heastock inlay work and again compare it with the 'Harry' tricone.
Finally even the string tailpiece has National engraved on it!
And now, a third Ornate banjo, the tailpiece and neck carving are similar to the one pictured above.
The Banjo Ukuleles featured on this page are subject of a patent applied for by Rudolph Dopyera in 1927, (granted Oct 1, 1929). See the patent page for details of this and a later banjo uke.
Notice the blue decal which confirms that they date from 27/28 ... plus the shape of the headstock and the 'patent applied for'.
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