On 12 December 1917 George Sandstrom of Oakland, California filed patent application number 206,746. He was awarded patent number 1,354, 268, titled simply "Banjo," on 28 September 1920. The patent specifications describe Sandstrom's invention, in part, as "...a tightening device for banjo heads and other musical instruments having an open circular rim, a flexible head interposed within the opening of the said rim, an annular lip integral therewith and extending inwardly from the top of said rim, a flat top ring fixedly attached as shown to the inside circumference of the said rim over which said head is drawn........
The banjo ukulele pictured below is a very plain, inexpensive instrument. The only marking is on one of brass brackets which is stamped, in three lines, S. SANDSTROM / OAKLAND, CAL. / PAT. PEND. I have not been able to determine what the initial "S" stands for. The hole at the top of the peghead is interesting. Another California banjo maker, Bolander, also put a hole in his pegheads.
Per an email from a collector, Sandstrom's banjo ukes sold for about $2.00 new. The bodies of some of instruments were made of California burled redwood, and the necks of maple. He goes on to point out that the hole at the top of the peghead was for attaching a strap.
And, another collector wrote that he had "picked up a Sandstrom banjo uke like the one on your site and when I was changing the head I found there is a leter G. on the metal bracket. It is marked G. S. SANDSTROM. The G.is down on the bend of the bracket. The S. must be his middle name." This makes sense, but it would still be interesting to know what the "S" stood for.
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