Construction & Tone Rings
Herewith begins an exposition of the various models
5-string banjo made by
A.C. Fairbanks in his various companies, and descriptions thereof.
A.C. Fairbanks - Maker (~1875 - 1880)
Between approximately 1875 and 1880 A.C. Fairbanks
several hundred banjos.
The first were relatively simple, using inexpensive trade pots and hardware.
Two wood screws attached the neck to the rim.
As he progressed, the quality of the banjos markedly improved with interesting
and sophisticated hardware and marquetry decoration on the wooden rims.
From the start, Fairbanks incorporated unusual
into his banjos. A prime identifying
characteristic of banjos continues to be the particular shape of the peghead. Most of the
banjos made by Fairbanks in this early period had a "crown" shaped peghead.
This is the peghead of an early Fairbanks banjo made before Fairbanks & Cole.
This early Fairbanks banjo
This is the peghead from an
The rounded shape of the heel of the necks was
to those of the other makers of the period.
The relief cut to provide space for the flesh hoop was unusually decorative as was his
treatment of the 5th string cut.
This is the heel from the beautifully stylized banjo
This is the typical 5th
Despite it's description as crude, it is, in fact, a delightful playing banjo with a good strong sound.
More pictures of early Fairbanks banjo No. 243 may be seen here.
Pictures of another early Fairbanks banjo, No. 340 are available here.
On to Fairbanks & Cole (1880 - 1890)
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me with any additions, corrections or comments in general.
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