Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers  - J.

Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers - J.

J. A. Serrano (Classical guitars) See --> Enrique Keller

J & D Hite (Mouthpieces) See --> David Hite Inc.

J. E. Dallas & Sons
Founded by John E. Dallas (b. 1956 d. 1921) in 1875 as an eponymous company based at the Strand in London, England that initially acted as a music publisher and banjo manufacturer. Mr. Dallas had started out making banjos and zither-banjos as an apprentice with J. E. Brewster in 1873 and had managed to save enough to open up his own workshop just two years later.

The various types of banjos were a hot item in the latter half of of the 19th century, both due to the popularity of minstrel groups but also because they were loud enough to be usable in music music halls unlike many other simple instruments, so the J. E. Dallas company grew and by 1893 they had taken over the building at 415 Strand. The company expanded into the manufacture of OEM instruments and produced mostly for the smaller concerns like Greenop and by 1905 the company was large enough to be incorporated under the new name of J. E. Dallas & Sons, but by that time all of his three sons were working for the company full time.

The company moved to new premises at 202 High Holborn in February 1914, in addition to being bigger than the older building and thus enabling a true mass production of instruments they were also slightly closer to the centre of English music instrument retailing at Tottenham Court Road. After the first world war the company started to sell instruments manufactured by other makers under a number of names, including Jedson that was used for drums made by Premier and later for banjos and other popular string instruments.

After the death of Mr. Dallas 1921 the company was turned into a private limited company in August that same year. The company also branched little by little into the manufacture of instruments other than the banjo but its popularity was waning slightly while other instruments were gaining attention from the public. Initially these were instruments related to the banjo like mandolins etc. and some of these appear to be made by mainland European companies and rebranded.

With the Hawaiian music craze of the late 1910's came the steel guitar and the ukulele, the steel guitar turned out to be a short lived fad but the cheap ukulele and especially variations like the banjo uke remained popular into the 1950's and by 1930 JEDS was a large manufacturer of ukes and other miniature string instruments like the banjo ukulele. French and German dance music brought with it interest in the guitar and the mandolin in the 20's and 30's while American jazz and popular music in the 30's and 40's was heavily based on wind instruments and drums and a short lived revival of English folk music also bought interest in string instuments more complex than the banjo and the company responded to each fad with a new line of instruments.

But the evacuation of the British pound from the gold standard in the latter half of the 1920's that made it worthless for trading anywhere except within the empire proved to be an even more decisive for the company. Instruments that had been imported from Germany and other central European countries now had to be made locally unless the importer could arrange for a bartering trade, this proved to be a great kick-start for the British musical industry since suddenly there opened up markets that had traditionally been owned by foreign instrument manufacturers not just in the UK but throughout the British Empire.

In 1926 the firm moved to 6-10 Betterton Street in Covent Garden and the greatly expanded facilities not only allowed the company to increase its manufacturing facilities but also for the first time there was enough warehouse space to allow the company to start acting as a wholesaler of musical instruments and the company became one of the biggest such in the UK and by 1930 the company was selling most types of musical instruments although much of them was not actually made by the company.

In 1935 the company founded an independent subsidiary called Carlton Drums, they had prior to that sold Premier Percussion and after 1925 A. F. Matthews drums under the Jedson name but the dance music craze that followed the depression meant that sales of drums had increased enough to justify opening up a separate factory. In 1937 JEDS moved to Ridgmount Street but at the onset of WWII all musical instrument manufacture ceased. In June 1947 JEDS Ltd. became a public company with the name Dallas Music Ltd. and a share capital of £500,000, it also re-started musical instrument manufacture, initially in small quantities though.

The company started expanding again in the 1950's, again helped by currency issues with the pound and strict import controls, it started manufacturing amplifiers and selling guitars under a variety of names including the Martin Coletti that they had used for guitars since the late 20's but as time wore on use of the Jedson name became more common. In 1962 it took over the George Houghton & Sons factory in Birmingham, but they had been making much of the banjos and similar instruments that Dallas had been selling under the Jedson name since the 1940's, the Houghton factory was moved to Bexleyheath in Kent.

The company closed down Carlton Drums in 1967 after years of losses and took over Arbiter Electronics in 1967 and along with it got the Drum City and Sound City stores and the related distribution business that went with it that included the Fender UK distribution, the takeover deal was a share swap rather than an outright buyout so Ivor Arbiter was now a board member of Dallas Music. The company changed its name to Dallas-Arbiter but lost the 2 best selling drum brands in the form of the German Trixon and USA Ludwig which left them with no choice but to restart their own production with a resurrected Carlton now under the name of Hayman Drums.

In 1969 the CBS company bought the majority of shares in the company, while there was no official name change the company now traded as either Dallas, Dallas-Arbiter or CBS/Arbiter depending on what sort of musical instruments and to what market it was peddling. In 1975 Ivor Arbiter sold his shares in the company and left the board..

Jerry Jones Guitars
Company based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA that manufactured electric guitars and sitars between the late 90's and 2011. Most of their models were based on based on old Danelectro designs, since the company is fairly recently gone their website is still up with only a couple of models missing.
Homepage: http://www.jerryjonesguitars.com

Jim Faulkner
A builder of acoustic musical instruments based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Known for his work on "early musical instruments", but note that term has a different meaning in the USA than in the rest of the world, in this parlance it meant that he worked on popular stringed musical instruments from the early 20th century like guitars, violins and banjos, he had by the 1960's become noted for his modifications to the resonators of banjos, actually for a time in the 1960's into the early 70's he supplied resonator rings to companies such as Gibson, and that company did in fact copy his banjo neck design compleatly a few years later. Indeed it is for his banjo work that he is best remembered today.

Although the mainstay of Mr. Faulkner's business in the 60's remained repairing and modification of musical instruments in addition to the wholesale and retail supply of instrument parts he manufacture a line of banjos that he sold under the Reuben Banjos brand, named after the old folk song "Old Reuben" aka "Reuben's Train" he also made capos designed by Earl Scruggs that were sold under the Scruggs-Ruben name, the name stamped on the capo is a misspelling of Reuben but since it would have cost money to remake the stamp he decided it was not worth it.

Spares & service : Since the Reuben's banjos were only made in limited numbers no-one is explicitly advertising repairs of these instruments, however his parts and modifications are well known amongst banjo builders and repairers, especially in the northern USA so any competent tradesman should be able to work on them. As far as banjos go Frank Neat was originally mentored by Faulkner and it is worth a try talking to him even though his company does not usually perform repairs.

Resources : http://www.sternercapo.se/Capomuseum/Side/Screw/side_scr.htm - Pictures of a Scruggs - Ruben capo
http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/196317 - Another S-R capo, this one has been encased in clear tubing, but the natural rubber used on the original rots away, this is a common mod..

Johann Friedrich Luther
Hessian carpenter and organ builder born in AŖlar on either November the 2nd or 24th in 1806 (accounts vary), apprenticed as a carpenter and organ builder in his teens and 20ís and was a journeyman in both professions but he appears not to have finished a masterpiece in either but rather found work in an unknown piano factory, the piano industry was booming at the time and someone with the skill set of Hr. Luther would probably have fitted right in. He is believed to have later become a piano builder journeyman although that is not known for sure. Moved to the USA in 1837 and started a small factory building pianos in New York later the same year, it is for his pianos that he is best remembered these days, although the factory is thought to have built some harmoniums/reed organs as well (known as melodeons in the USA).

His pianos are branded as John F. Luther or J.F. Luther but by this time he had anglicised his name as John Frederick Luther for marketing purposes although he continued to use the German form of the name himself for the rest of his life. In addition to making pianos he did in his later years work as a keyboard repairer and piano tuner as after 1850 there sprang up over 50 piano factories in NY City alone and he had to scale down his operation as he could not compete with the bigger and better financed concerns, he was in the latter half of his carrier in fact better known as a repairer and tuner even though he did not stop building instruments until he retired in 1885. Passed away on August the 2nd in 1896.

Surprisingly enough his passing was more widely reported in the international press that it was in the American one due to a number of factors, before he left for the USA he had invented the upright grand piano, a fact that was acknowledged in Europe and European colonies but not well known in his adopted homeland, and seems to have been written out of the history books since. He was also at the time noted for having founded the first piano factory in New York state and one of the first in the USA, another German speaker called Wilhelm Lindemann had opened up a NYC shop a year earlier than Luther but he had worked as a repairer and not a builder and at the time he was not thought to have started building pianos serially until 1838 under another name, or 1842 under his own. But perhaps more notable for the staunchly Lutheran northern European press, J. F. Luther was a direct descendant of protestant movement founder Martin Luther on the male line.

It should be noted that there were a number of other piano builders with the last name Luther in 19th century USA, but they are not believed to have been related to Johann Friedrich and AFAIK no-one else with the name operated from NY.

John E. Dallas (Banjos & zither banjos) See --> J. E. Dallas & Sons

Juan Orozco (Classical guitars) See --> Juan Orozco

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am