Several months ago, I posted this photo from the 1890's in a Cigar Box Nation email with the challenge for somebody to make a similar instrument. The young man in the photo was from Savannah, GA and is playing a crude violin.
Jim Morris of Springfield, WV immediately took the challenge. Morris, a fantastic old time guitarist and fiddle player, has been featured in previous Cigar Box Nation features, including Gus Cannon's Frying Pan Banjo (article link). I must first mention that the photo posted in the original email was a lot smaller than the cleaned up version above.
Here is his version along with builder's comments. Great work, Jim!!!
A lot of guesswork went into this one. Decided it needed a homemade twig bow too.
It looked like a 3 stringer from the pic.
Most of the details were hard to make out in the pic but I didn't see a fingerboard so I went without one.
Great work Jim and the bow is the cherry on top. Awesome build.
just excellent work!!!
Repeated History ! a conservater in time ! your kind of handmade pastime !
Gee wiz! That’s great Jim. It sounds like the real thing! I feel like I just heard something from the 1900’s. Excellent museum Masrerpiece!
Thanks Dave. Sometimes a build like this feels almost like a time machine transporting me to other places. It helps me to feel a one-ness with long ago folks who felt compelled to make home made music.
What a great achievement to bring back to life an instrument virtually lost to to us, just by studying a photograph.
How did you work out scale length and tuning?
This is really inspiring stuff.