Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

1248
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Collector's Corner
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Dating a Fairbanks/Cole/Vega Banjo 1880+


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/322998

banjotrader - Posted - 09/22/2016:  08:59:26


Hi folks,



Here is the updated dating chart for the Fairbank&Cole, A.C Fairbanks & Vega banjos.



Much work has been done in the last year to clean up the 1880-1922 timelines.



Such as:

Dec. 1890 Patent

​Columbian

1904 Fire

Consalvi Departure to Italy & Return

Consalvi's departure from company



This work is an extension to previous efforts done here: banjohangout.org/archive/296508.



Should you have any insights that can further improve this model, please PM me.



Thank you to:

Shawn McSweeny, Hank Schwartz, Jim Bollman and many others for helping get things this far.






































































































































































































































































































































































































Year First Last Volume Comments
1880 0 999   Fairbanks & Cole Partnership begins
1881 1000 1999    
1882 2000 2999    
1883 3000 3999   David Lucien Day starts working for banjo business
1884 4000 4999    
1885 5000 5999    
1886 6000 6999    
1887 7000 7999    
1888 8000 8999    
1889 9000 9999    
1890 10000 10999 800 F&C Partnership end.  A. C. Fairbanks & Co. Fairbanks Electric intro
1891 0 799 800 Curtis Electric.  Dec 30 1890 Patent appears on early serialized banjos
1892 800 1599 800 Imperial Electric
1893 1600 2399 800 Senator & Columbian. re: Columbian Exposition of 1893
1894 2400 13999 800 Special.   Incorporation of A.C. Fairbanks & Co., Inc.
1895 14000 14899 900 New Serialization. Regent.  Fairbanks departs; D. Cummings & F. Dodge lead w/ Day as Mgr
1896 14900 15799 900 Metal Name Plates (A.C. Fairbanks Co)
1897 15800 16699 900  
1898 16700 17599 900  
1899 17600 18499 900  
1900 18500 19399 900  
1901 19400 20399 1000 Whyte Laydie Intro ~20XXX
1902 20400 21299 900  
1903 21300 22199 900  
1904 22200 22499 300 March 4th Fire and Vega Purchase on Mar 21st for $925 + $1 (Patents)
1905 22500 23199 700  
1906 23200 23899 700 Consalvi leaves in 1906 ~ 239XX, Absent from ~233XX-235XX
1907 23900 24699 800  
1908 24700 25499 800 A few pre-Launch Tubaphones.  Patented in 1908 & fully 1911 drawings.
1909 25500 26299 800 Tubaphone Intro ~25XXX & First FB/Vega Stamp ~26000
1910 26300 27199 900  
1911 27200 28149 950  
1912 28150 29349 1200  
1913 29350 30749 1400  
1914 30750 32349 1600  
1915 32350 34249 1900  
1916 34250 36399 2150  
1917 36400 38849 2450  
1918 38850 41649 2800  
1919 41650 44799 3150  
1920 44800 48349 3550  
1921 48350 52349 4000  
1922 52350 56849 4500  David L Day leaves~53XXX-54XXX, 1st Vega Stamp ~526XX
1923 56850 68099 11250  Vegaphone Intro ~585XX
1924 68100 77999 9900  
1925 78000 83999 6000  Vegaphone Soloist ~82XXX
1926 84000 88499 4500  Vegaphone Δ Flange ~877XX, Oettinger->Clamshell
1927 88500 93149 4650  Vegavox Intro ~926XX, New 2-Piece Resonator on Vegaphones 
1928 93150 95699 2550  
1929 95700 96899 1200  
1930 96900 97499 600  
1931 97500 97899 400  
1932 97900 98149 250  
















































































1953 98779 98998
1954 98999 99089
1955 99090 99255
1956 99256 99425
1957 99426 99567
1958 99568 99716
1959 99717 100031
1960 100032 100865
1961 100866 101499
1962 101500 102581
1962A-1964A 10347 12600
1964-1970 124000 130247
1971-1972 130248 130392
1972M-1978M 1 1945
1979 1946 1969





Edited by - banjotrader on 07/13/2017 06:14:44

hbick2 - Posted - 09/23/2016:  07:43:33


 



I have been studying early Fairbanks banjos for quite a while, both my own and what pictures I have of others, and have come to the conclusion that our current numbering models start a year off. Here is why.



I own Fairbanks Electric #67, my buddy Harry Sparks owns #67 and I have photographs of #45, which sold on Ebay a year or so ago. All of these banjos have the Electric patent stamp on the inside of the rim. The stamp contains the date Dec 30, 1890. This means that these three banjos could not have been produced before Dec 30, 1890, when the patent was granted. I doubt seriously that they went out and had a stamp made on Dec 30, stamped these banjos and produced another 755 banjos on New Years Eve. More likely, they probably began their new numbering scheme sometime in 1891, once they had the patent stamp in hand. It's possible that these banjos and the other 44 before them were produced in 1890 and sat around and waited for the patent stamp, but I doubt it. They still couldn't have been released before the end of 1890.



Taking this a step farther, and expanding on what Dr. Bill Michael says on banjoonmyknee, I would surmise that the old Fairbanks & Cole numbering system was used throughout most of, if not all of 1890. #8862 is an A.C. Fairbanks banjo that clearly has the characteristics of a Fairbanks and Cole banjo. #9509 is a Fairbanks Piccolo banjo with F&C characteristics. #9986 is a Fairbanks Electric with numerous F&C characteristics. #10000 is a gorgeous Custom Electric banjo with a lot of F&C characteristics. It is possible that this is the point at which they stopped using the old numbering system and started the new one. There is no way to tell for sure.



If anyone has an Electric banjo with a stamp before #45, it would be helpful to have that information. I have more to say on this subject, but I think this is enough for now.



Harry Bickel

banjotrader - Posted - 09/23/2016:  08:06:54


Agreed Harry 1880-1894 is a bit of a mystery and your insights will factor into this period as we revise. Please do share any other of your thoughts, they are very welcome.


Edited by - banjotrader on 09/23/2016 08:07:22

hbick2 - Posted - 09/23/2016:  08:23:37


Another thing that I believe might help us narrow down the dates a little more is the Columbian Exposition. It was a landmark event that only lasted for 6 months, May 1, 1893 to October 30, 1893, although President Harrison proclaimed the anniversary of the discovery of America on Oct. 21, 1892. I think it is reasonable to assume that the Fairbanks Columbian banjos were produced around this time to capitalize on the popularity of the fair, at least the earlier group. Here are the numbers for Columbian banjos that I have:  



#2392; #2857; #3089; #3707; #15246; #16109; #16408; #16844; #17944



 



I would think that #2392 through #3707 would have been in the group produced in mid to late 1893. I would love to know of other Columbian serial numbers,, particularly in this range. I'm not sure what to think about the later Columbians. Maybe it was just a model that they kept in their catalog and produced on special order. Maybe they had a stamp and felt compelled to use it. 



 



Harry

Andy FitzGibbon - Posted - 09/23/2016:  18:08:14


quote:
Originally posted by banjotrader

Agreed Harry 1880-1894 is a bit of a mystery and your insights will factor into this period as we revise. Please do share any other of your thoughts, they are very welcome.



Still need to figure out a way to get you the few hundred numbers I have.

Andy

BanjoJane - Posted - 11/16/2016:  05:23:27


So do we think that a #7 with a serial number of 23702 is unlikely to be Consalvi?

banjotrader - Posted - 11/16/2016:  05:42:29


if you can post pictures of the engraved inlays, it would be very helpful.  I appears that Consalvi's work was there for that period until 239XX

kyleb - Posted - 11/16/2016:  06:50:30


I have an S.C. Thompson branded fairbanks with the number 236 on it, I have been told by various experts and can see from the construction that this is an a.c. fairbanks made banjo. Does anyone know if they would have used the same numbering system on the banjos they made for other brands? If so is it safe to date this to 1891? It has an electric tone ring.

skip sail - Posted - 11/23/2016:  15:08:12


my WL#7 ,serial number 23702 is DEFINITELY Consalvi engraved, thats been verified by several experts




rcc56 - Posted - 11/23/2016:  16:11:15


Does anyone have a year by year number list for the Fairbanks made Bacons?

banjotrader - Posted - 11/23/2016:  16:21:05


acoustudio.dk/BD_and_Bacon_database.html
Is a good place to start for anything Bacon.

As proposed in the model above 23702 fits the Consalvi timeline.


Edited by - banjotrader on 11/23/2016 16:22:48

joe28675 - Posted - 11/23/2016:  21:13:57


quote:


Originally posted by kyleb

 

I have an S.C. Thompson branded fairbanks with the number 236 on it, I have been told by various experts and can see from the construction that this is an a.c. fairbanks made banjo. Does anyone know if they would have used the same numbering system on the banjos they made for other brands? If so is it safe to date this to 1891? It has an electric tone ring.







That's strange, I have an S.C.Thompson, looks to be made by W.A.Cole. Serial number 236. 


aaronglss - Posted - 03/24/2017:  14:39:16


I have an A.C. Fairbanks Columbian #3093

RB3WREATH - Posted - 03/25/2017:  03:49:53


23565 is Consalvi



 



 


Edited by - RB3WREATH on 03/25/2017 03:56:11





 

banjotrader - Posted - 03/25/2017:  03:53:16


That fits - ConsalviĀ leaves in 1906 ~ 239XX, Absent from ~233XX-235XX. I use xx because sequence isnt exact. I will make notes. Please share photos


Edited by - banjotrader on 03/25/2017 03:55:21

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.0625