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Thread: Osborn

  1. #1
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    My father-in-law was cleaning out his garage and found a box from his father's house. It had an old bowlback mando, sheetmusic from 1904-1910, and a violin (haven't seen that one yet). He doesn't recall his father playing at all and thinks they actually belonged to his grandfather instead.

    The mando is in really nice shape. Cleaned up beautifully. But needs strings, of course. No markings inside. One engraved name on the back ... Osborn.




    Does anyone have any info about where this was made and when? My father-in-law's family originally came from Missouri.

    Thanks,
    Richard

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Richard:
    According to mugwumps.com:
    Quote Originally Posted by
    The Osborn Manufacturing Co was established in 1897 at Chicago, IL by Samuel C. Osborn. They built guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles and other small musical instruments. In 1921 they claimed the largest factory of its kind in the country. The instruments were marketed under the Sammo and the Sammos trade marks, some made entirely from koa wood.
    Is there a label on this mandolin? Often the tuner backplate has "osborn" engraved on it.

    Make sure, when you string it you use very light strings. Inexpensive (tho not best sounding are GHS A240 available from juststrings.com.

    Jim
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for that info! There is no label anywhere on it. Just the engraved backplate. I think we've decided not to play it and risk any damage. Will probably just display it after a decent cleaning.

    Richard

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Why not play it? As long as it is not overstrung or there aren't any structural flaws in it, I would try to have it set up to play and do so.

    It is nice that it has sentimental value but it is an instrument not a wall hanging.

    Jim



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  5. #5
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    I'd have to take into a shop and have it looked at. I'd rather not damage it, in the chance that there is some structural damage that I can't see. Perhaps we'll do that someday ... but not yet.

    Richard

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    It looks like one side of the bridge is broken off. Prob doesn't have any effect on the sound or satety of the mandolin.

    Jim
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Osborn

    Hi all - Iíve been away for quite a while. Got bit by the jazz guitar bug so havenít touched my mandolin much in the last few years but have been picking it up a bit more lately. A neighbor posted an old tater bug on Nextdoor last week and had a buyer lined up by the time I contacted her. Luckily that sale fell through so I was able to pick it up. She asked $60 for it and I couldnít argue with that - I figure Iíll string it up with fresh strings and put the bridge in the right place and if it plays ok Iíll play it and if it doesnít Iíll hang it on the wall for decoration.

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    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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