A.C. Fairbanks (by Vega) "Senator" 5-string banjo S/N 35542, Circa 1919

This is a low-end Vega 5-string banjo from just after WWI, but it is still a wonderful playing instrument. The half-spun rim is akin to the old Fairbanks & Cole "Imperial" banjos, but with a much more substantial wood rim.  Banjo ornamentation became much simpler after about 1915, probably a result of labor and material shortages related to the war.  In the optimistic 1920's, however, elaborate ornamentation resurfaced on the fancy tenor banjos of the jazz era, only to decline again with the depression of the 1930's.

Back to Home Page