Tenor banjos (1920-1970)
Towards the end of the First World War the mandolin lost its popularity in favour of the banjo, which was to play its roll in the early Jazz bands. But people didn’t go back to the five-string banjo that was in vogue before 1900. They turned towards a new instrument that was closer in technique to the mandolin: a four string banjo tuned in fifths, with a more or less short neck, played with a plectrum like the mandolin: the tenor banjo was born.
The numbers of production of budged or mid range instruments in the 1920s are simply amazing, only to be equalled by the amount of guitars from the same period. These banjos, in spite of their low buying prices, say under 100 $, technically and musically perform well, and in some cases even better than the overloaded fancy instruments only few could afford.
Between 1930 and 1950 the banjo was somehow forgotten, but then people started to rediscover it. In the early ’sixties the rising popularity of folk and "bluegrass" music brought about a change in demand, and the companies principal banjo productions were devoted to 5-string and extended neck instruments, although tenor-banjos and plectrum-banjos continued to be made.