"Fairbanks Family Banjo"
#6 Special Electric 5-String Banjo
Doug Unger - 1998


This banjo is based on one of two banjos still held by the descendants of A.C.Fairbanks and is informally known as "The Fairbanks Family Banjo".

(It is NOT the one being held by Curtis Fairbanks in the widely seen photograph of him in formal attire.

This modern fingerboard is 3 frets longer than the original, 
requiring an additional inlay.

The original pot was a #6 Special Electric.

 The inlays on the original have a sparse feeling of great delicacy.  To my eye they are the finest pearl engraving ever done.

Doug Unger has done an excellent job, approaching that extraordinary feat.

There were several banjos made around the same time with this particular inlay pattern.



This "cherub" heel carving is similar to that on the "Irving Berlin" Presentation Whyte Laydie.

This #6 Special Electric pot has the "inverted" Imperial Electric style tone ring.  It is made as one piece with the points of the scalloped truss resting on a steel ring at the top of the wooden pot.

The purfling and bindings are typical of a #6 Electric.

With it's ancient skin, this instrument has a typical but warm Electric sound.

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