In making a website for Ukulele Corner, (where all of my Ukuleles live) I have come across many different brands of Ukulele and sometimes I have wanted to know more about them, especially if I thought one should come to live in Ukulele Corner.
But then there were all of the other Ukuleles that probably aren't going to make it to the Corner and even if I don't love them somebody might, and might like to know more about them. I know there are other nice databases out there and I have put links to them in the Lardy Fatboy Links page, but I thought there was scope for an expanded database, with pictures? - This is my attempt. (it started out as notes for me so I could keep track of what I had found out about the various makers and I included pictures to help me try and identify some of the unmarked instruments that are out there. In making my notes public there are some people who have complained that I have infringed upon their copyright for the images and refuse me permission to put their Ukulele pictures on public display. If you come across an image whose access is restricted, it is for this reason - It's still ultimately my notes, for me, and the pictures of the Ukuleles are out there but I can't show them to you, sorry)
To find out about a Ukulele or Banjolele click on the first letter of the brand or makers name in the list under the "Makers Names" tab. If you don't see it there try the search box - I have been know to forget!
(If it is a person I have tried to put a link in for both the family and the given names; I've ignored any the's - Also note if I could spell I would be a Wizzard!)
I do not review any Ukuleles on this site as I haven't had the opportunity to play most of them and so am not in a position to. Also that is not the purpose of this site, here I just note they have been made and if there is any comment on the quality or otherwise of a brand I am only reporting a widely held view. However, if the photo is one from my own collection you can click on it to go to the page at Ukulele Corner for a review and a sound clip (of me playing Waltzin' Matilda - badly - on that very Ukulele)
Please join in if you have any information, pictures, corrections, even questions. Email Lardy.Fatboy@gmail.com and do remember this is a work in progress so there is still a lot to add! (this includes a lot of makers that I only have partial information on and haven't yet made an entry for, so if you are looking for something and its not here please email me, I might know something?). One thing though, I won't add a makers name unless I have a picture or some other very good evidence to give some idea of what they produce or have produced.
When looking through the Ukulele database be aware that a number of brand names have been used by a number of people over the years; sometimes even at the same time, particularly if it seemed like a good marketing ploy. Aloha, Hawaii and Waikiki are very popular as brand names but there are others - for example "Maxitone" was used by Bruno in the US and by George Houghton in the UK in the 1930's and to add to the confusion they both put the name on Banjoleles, but beyond the name there is no connection between them.
Whilst on the subject of brand names - on Banjoleles the metal tail-piece, (that holds the strings at the drum end), is often branded; this is the brand name of the tail-piece though, not the name of the Ukulele - same goes for tuning pegs; on any instrument
Another thing - I am aware that in Hawaiian the correct spelling is 'Ukulele with a ' in front of the U but I am British and writing in English so the ' is dropped ~ I don't listen to Finns telling me how to pronounce Sauna either!