- acoustic guitars
The Paramount banjo brand was established in 1921 by William L. Lange. By the 1930s banjos were declining in popularity compared to guitars and Paramount comissioned Martin to make some Paramount tenor guitars. These Paramount guitars had an unsual resonator with sound holes around the body but only around 30 were made.
The Paramount 1924 catalog gives an overview of the brand at the time:
Twenty-six years of banjo manufacturing sums up the experience which is embodied in the success of the Paramount Banjo. For one who has never visited the home of the Paramount Banjo it is difficult indeed to grasp the magnitude of this wonderful factory, from whose doors over 450,000 banjos have issued since the establishment of the business. Several thousand Paramounts alone were made in the first eighteen months of their introduction in 1921, proving superiority.
Over 20,000 square feet of floor space are occupied by the various departments and more than seventy-five highly trained workmen are carried on the payroll.
This inspiring figure of industrial enterprise is still further emphasized by the detailed extent to which Paramount Banjos are fashioned within the walls of the William L. Lange plant. To the best of my knowledge there is no other manufacturer of banjos who builds so large a proportion of his product. This, together with the financial resources of William L. Lange—which enables him to purchase materials of the finest qualities at the most favorable prices—discloses the reason for the exceptional banjo value with which the name Paramount is synonymous.
The cost of raw materials is increased only by the cost of converting them into the finished banjos, and not by the profit that goes to a number of different parts-manufacturers, as in the case of banjos wholly or partly assembled. Functioning at the head of this great plant and directing its activities is William L. Lange, whose ripe experience and matured ability date back over a quarter of a century.
Devotion to precision, relentless conscientiousness in every detail are best revealed by the fact that each Paramount Banjo must successfully undergo more than twenty-five separate and distinct inspections and tests before it is deemed worthy of the Paramount name in the peg head.
The integrity of Lange manufacturing has earned its own reward, for the Paramount Banjo has met with such wide popularity that the large factory producing it has been oversold almost continuously since the Paramount Banjo was first introduced. With a large number of new and important developments embodied in the design and construction of Paramount Banjos and with values unparalleled in history we look forward to the coming period with a certainty of seeing an even greater demonstration of national goodwill toward the name Paramount and the banjo.
We present these new instruments for your inspection with renewed faith in the American public's appreciation of quality and its unerring instinct for value. Pages could be written about the perfection of the Paramount Banjo. Perhaps the story is best told in the photographs in the following pages, showing many of the world's greatest banjo players, all proud users of Paramounts.
The fact that the Paramount is played by men who know real banjo speaks volumes for its tone, workmanship, construction features, and beauty of finish.