Web Site Goals                                                              ws30


1) To create a lasting record of the content and scope of this collection of vintage banjos and related collectibles.


2) To provide a comprehensive photographic library of instruments made by what I call the Fairbanks " family“ from its inception in the 1870s until approximately 1915.

3) To propose a system of classification for all the banjos that actually bear the Fairbanks name. This is more complex than it sounds. ( Refer to the information within the “Fairbanks Company Banjos” grouping).

4) To point out interesting changes in general banjo construction that occurred from the 1870s up to about 1915.

a) Since these changes involved several different companies, I arbitrarily opted to place most of this discussion at the end of the Information on this Group" page in the “Bacons by Vega” grouping.

b) Some specific information about 5 string plectrum and 4 string tenor and plectrum instruments appears on the "Information on this Group" page in the "Fairbanks Banjos By Vega" grouping.


5) To provide a list of suggested reading.

6) To contribute to the overall fund of knowledge about these grand treasures and stimulate dialog amongst those who study and love them.  In that regard, I will list several ways viewers may be able to help:

a) As mentioned at the bottom of the Homepage, I solicit input about several "mysteries" discussed there.


b) I am aware of 3 different metal plates Fairbanks mounted on his dowel sticks. I would like to accumulate a large number of serial numbers of plated Fairbanks banjos to correlate with the different plates. For willing helpers who own or come across such banjos, I have a simple, 2 question e-mail questionnaire you can complete in 30 seconds or less per banjo. Simply ask me to send "the metal plate questionnaire". For those kind enough to provide information, I will send a report of what I learn.

c) Prior to the 1901 start of the Whyte-Laydie line, nearly all Fairbanks necks were "one-piece", i. e. they had no central veneer for decoration or strength. I have seen a few exceptions and want to accumulate information on any Fairbanks & Cole or Fairbanks banjos whose serial numbers are 22,800 or lower and whose necks are more than "one-piece". Please just send me the company name, model name, serial number, and the number of central veneers. You will likely never see one of these.

d) Two banjos in my collection have uncommon/rare and very interesting patent metal tuners shaped somewhat like nuclear reactors with celluloid knobs stamped with an 1885 date (Fairbanks Regent, S/N 20890 and Fairbanks Electric No. 3, S/N 19049). Seeing the dates on the knobs requires careful searching but the tuners will be easy to spot after you inspect the photos provided on each banjo. These tuners may well have been used by other makers as well. If you own or see such tuners, please send me the maker name, model name, and serial number.

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