Historical Pictures

This page is devoted to showing many of the “historical pictures” that appear in various places on my web site. Please see the “Resources and Acknowledgements” page I have created to check out the sources I have listed for this material.  Some of these photos, however, aren’t attributable to anyone in particular.

By no means are any of the items shown here meant to be offense to the early Black Culture in any way. Rather, it pays rightful “homage” to the true and original nature of cigar box instruments and the ingenuity of using them. As with everything, however, I’m sure there was, a “price to be paid”… In any event, I am most grateful for the wonderful instruments that we now have.


The earliest known “print” that shows a Cigar Box Instrument being used:



Christmas Eve with Uncle Enos (with Cigar Box Banjo Plans) – by Daniel C. Beard – Circa 1884

This story first appeared in The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature in 1884-1885. It was written by Daniel Carter Beard, who also founded the Boy Scouts of America. It tells the story of a Christmas Eve where the boys Tom, Dick and Harry discover that their beloved Uncle Enos has built himself a banjo out of a cigar box and broomstick.

This is not just a story though, but a set of plans for how to build a 5-string fretless banjo using a cigar box. These plans, minus the folksy story, would later be incorporated into Beard’s American Boy’s Handy Book.

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Very famous plans!
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The founder of the Boy Scout’s

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Very Old Plans
Very Old Plans



This N’ That – Pictures, Prints, and Postcards


 Blues in the Camp – Cigar Box Style

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Something to smile about
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Goin’ at it
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Would love to have heard them!
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Way to serious for me…
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Young Bo

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                                          Hey Bo Diddley




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Older Bo


Me an’ the gang from work (on our lunch break, of course)

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If only… what a collection!
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This man meant business!
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Working late at night in my shop… long hours, hard work, ridiculous pay – Living the dream!
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Would love to have heard that one
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Final adjustments prior to shipping…
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Tune up – plug in – rock out!
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Wish I would have been there…
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Not sure about the instrument… but I love the suit and haircut!

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Armed and dangerous

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 5.14.11 PM1924 Opera Troupe with Cigar Box Guitar! (colorized above)

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I can almost hear the angels sing…

                                                                                                                             Not just a prop – Johnny Depp is a true player

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Cool cat
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Cool cat II
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No idea how she sounded – but she looks happy!
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Pretty serious!
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True love!
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See caption – translation: “also you’ll love again”
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In the work shop?
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Music is good for the soul!
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Note the kazoo’s in their mouth!
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A break from the action at the front



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Let the music play








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Everyone is a critic!


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