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Oct 3, 2023 - 8:59:51 AM
8 posts since 2/25/2023

I have a 5 string AC Fairbanks Whyte Laydie #7 that dates from 1902. It has the electric tone ring and bracket band BUT it is bolted through the pot. Is this common for the older WL's? The pot is stamped 21340, and the neck is stamped 21339. They both look all original, but this detail about the pot is curious. Or, I need to be educated. Any thoughts?

Edited by - G Meyer on 10/03/2023 20:58:29

Oct 3, 2023 - 10:16:29 AM
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3421 posts since 4/7/2010

There should not be bolts going through the wood rim on a Whyte Laydie.

Post some pictures. It will give us a better sense of what is going on.

Bob Smakula

Oct 3, 2023 - 2:12:10 PM

5293 posts since 5/29/2011

From my understanding, the scalloped tone ring was first used in the Electric model. When Vega introduced the Whyte Laydie they used the same ring. The Whyte Laydie was a higher grade banjo with a bracket band whereas the Electric model had the traditional bolts through the rim. The Whyte Laydie got its name because previous Vega banjos were stained and the Whyte Laydie was finished in its natural maple color.

Oct 3, 2023 - 2:23:35 PM
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G Meyer


8 posts since 2/25/2023

Here are photos, I thought I had posted them...
Thanks for the information


Oct 3, 2023 - 5:30:10 PM



2607 posts since 9/16/2007

The rim-stick number is 21339 rather than 21399.

Oct 3, 2023 - 8:29:32 PM

153 posts since 2/4/2010

The bracket shoes look like later styles - perhaps fatter than the early WL shoes. I'd guess extensive modification later in the banjo's life. It does seem to have the fancy purfling on the rim cap but the photos are not conclusive. There are a fair number of mismatched serial numbered banjos in my database - one digit off means it's probably original ( perhaps indicative of some damage and replacement during
construction ).

Oct 3, 2023 - 8:31:51 PM
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153 posts since 2/4/2010

PS I'd love to have exact rim size and scale length for my database.

Oct 3, 2023 - 9:21:54 PM

G Meyer


8 posts since 2/25/2023

Hello Jim,
The wooden edge of the pot from the back side is exactly 11" across. The scale length is 28".
The neck/dowel is stamped 21339 and the pot is 21340.
I am attaching some other photos, but let me know if there are some shots you want.


Oct 4, 2023 - 6:39:04 AM
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1986 posts since 1/13/2012

A 28" scale neck on that rim size would be unusual, but perhaps someone ordered it that way.

The bolts through the rim are probably an owner addition. They don't match the hardware that Fairbanks/Vega would have been using at the time.

Oct 5, 2023 - 7:07:03 AM



2524 posts since 11/29/2005

Bet it sounds absolutely stunning.

Oct 5, 2023 - 10:57:55 PM

152 posts since 7/27/2006

Interesting. Looks like original Cobra hooks shoes and closed end nuts to me. The added veneers at the heel cap, not normally seen on the #7s, may indicate a buyers special request?.. I like to see these outside the norm examples. I’d love to see it up close.

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