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

Christmas Eve with Uncle Enos
Click the Image Above to view the full PDF

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.

Due to the time period in which it was written, some of the language and terms used in it may be offensive to some people. We present the digital version of the original publication here in its full, unedited form, as a historical curiosity and for educational purposes, as one of the earliest printed references to making instruments out of cigar boxes. We hope you enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Eve with Uncle Enos (with Cigar Box Banjo Plans) – by Daniel C. Beard – Circa 1884”

  1. Thanks, beautyfull story, loved the originallity of its language and pictures.
    We are planning childrens courses in our Fablab’s workshop. The inspiration comes from your site. Many thanks for that.

    Happy hollydays and keep on boxing these strings:-)

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