The Evolution of Fairbanks/Vega Engraved Inlays on Banjos

On this page I attempt to illustrate how inlay patterns and engraving techniques developed over the years before and after the fire that destroyed the Fairbanks factory in 1904 and led to the sale of the company to Vega. Below are shown photos of very similar inlay patterns on the pegheads and fingerboards of a 1899 Fairbanks Electric No. 5 banjo (top), a 1903 Fairbanks Whyte Laydie No. 7 banjo (middle), and a 1911 Fairbanks (by Vega) Tubaphone No. 9 banjo (bottom).  Note the almost "impressionistic" rendition on the later Tubaphone. 

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