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No, I did not buy a banjo on eBay this weekend…

I bought two banjos on eBay this weekend. This one – the first one arrived today.

Pretty little thing. Not much wrong with it. Mostly cleanup and a new head (yeah, I’m going goatskin shopping!).

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before — Britain is the Land of Goofy Banjos. Banjo was the first musical fad to cross the Atlantic and it caught on like wildfire here — first with minstrel shows (nobody likes to talk about these now, on either side of the Atlantic), morphing into a peculiarly British style known as Classic (not classical) Banjo. It was a black-tie-and-tails sort of thing and featured some of the weirdest banjo designs ever.

For the eighty or so years that ‘jo was all the rage, they were manufactured in attics and backroom workshops to some very peculiar designs. Many of them were not terribly well made, and many of the designs were impractical, so all kinds of wonderful instruments can be had for not much money. Many of them falling to bits.

This one is pretty orthodox, with a lovely (if thin) scrap of ebony fingerboard. A project for the approaching cold Winter nights.

Say, do any of you have any favorite site scraping software? I like to keep the original eBay listings for stuff I buy, and it’s a tedium downloading all the pictures and bits manually. I’d love to have a piece of kit that just sucked it all down for me in one go.


Comment from Todd
Time: October 12, 2016, 9:54 pm

On the page, right click and select “Save as…”, then save as type “Webpage, Complete” and you should have it all, including pics.

Those are Chrome instructions, but others should be about the same.

Oh, and George Formby fo’evah!

Comment from BrendaM
Time: October 12, 2016, 10:05 pm

Wow, thank you Todd, that is brilliant!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 12, 2016, 10:20 pm

Holy shit, Todd! It worked! How long has THAT been there?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 12, 2016, 10:32 pm

Todd, you beat me to it. Actually, Mme. Ermine, it has been there for a very, very long time. I remember using it in early Firefox days for sure.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: October 12, 2016, 11:31 pm

There was a Bertie Wooster story where a rift arose with Jeeves due to the young master’s recently taking up the banjo.

Up till now I had thought that was just Wodehouse being whimsical, because upper class English twits playing banjo? Ha ha, good one. Never knew that it had actually been a thing.

Then there was the notorious line of W.S. Gilbert in The Mikado about the “n*gg*r serenader” which was changed to banjo serenader. In any case the original apparently did not refer to an actual black performer, but a minstrel player in blackface. Nonetheless, the word had to go.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: October 13, 2016, 1:23 pm

That “Save Page As” doesn’t seem to be available, at least not on the right-click menu, in this new browser from the former CEO of Mozilla, Brave. I’m test-driving it for my personal website viewing, while keeping Firefox for my work websites.

But it is there for Firefox.

Ah: “Save Page As” is found in Brave on the File menu.

Comment from BJM
Time: October 13, 2016, 6:41 pm

– How long has THAT been there?

I recall it being in Netscape too. That’s how I learned to build a web site back in the day before site building software. I’d scrape the site and look at the source code.

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