The New Washburn Company Style 118 wooden mandolin dating from between 1900-1905. On the inside of the instrument there is an oval label, copper/gold with black lettering, stating " The New Washburn Company / Latest Model / Highest award at World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893/ Gold Medal and Diploma of Honor, Antwerp 1894". There is also a small round white paper warranty label with black lettering , stating "Cremonatone / No. 149397 / the material and workmanship of this Washburn instrument / fully guaranteed for the term of one year from the date of original purchase provided this label is not mutilated" with a red ink stamp "Cremonatone, registered trademark", serial number of instrument is handwritten on label.
The Washburn guitar company started making guitars in 1883 in Chicago as a division of stringed instrument maker Lyon & Healy. Lyon & Healy was making plucked string instruments in the 1880s, with Washburn (guitars, mandolins, banjos, and zithers) being their premier line. The Washburn factory would later be involved with Delta Blues as a result of an influx of black people to the area in the 1920s. This type of blues would change the way blues music was played, and would also change rock and roll. This blues movement helped in the success of Washburn guitars at that time. The musicians played the guitars as well as making them by hand. The Washburn guitar and the blues movement that it was involved with are associated with Maxwell Street. This street is only a few blocks from the factory where Washburn guitars were first embraced.
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Mandolin, 1900 – 1905, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6232. Accessed 02/25/21.