J R Stewart

JR Stewart "Le Domino" Banjolele Banjo Ukulele
Le Domino Banjolele
20's Walnut J R Stewart Soprano at Ukulele Corner
My Undecorated Soprano
JR Stewart worked for the Harmony Co. in the early 1920s before opening his own business in 1925 making fretted instruments. The Stewart Company grew quickly in the second half of the 1920s especially in 1926 with the release of their Le Domino line of instruments. Though this was the most famous and popular, it was not the only line; at the same time as Le Domino they released the June Days and the Hula ranges. I believe the Egyptian range was also theirs but I'm less certain of this

When Lyon & Healy stopped manufacturing fretted instruments in 1928, Stewart purchased the plant and the rights to manufacture the Washburn range on chordophones, (this was an odd deal because Tonk Bros purchased the sole right to market them? so Steward could only sell them through TB Co and TB Co could only have them made by Stewart??). The Stewart company's rapid growth led to its downfall. Less than six months after the stock market crash of 1929, JR Stewart declared bankruptcy owing $70,000. The Stewart plant, stock and trade names were sold to a major Chicago distributor, Tonk Brothers, who kept the washburn rights but sold on the rest to Regal who continued to make Le Domino Instruments for a while, but with Regal on the headstock not JRS

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