Dating fairbanks banjos

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With Frank Cole (younger brother of William) in charge of production the firm flourished.On December 30th 1890 they patented a banjo with a tone ring which they called their “Special Electric Model”.In 1903 this model was redesigned to begin its worldwide fame as the “ Whyte Laydie” banjo.In 1892 AC Fairbanks, having lost interest in banjo making, gave up control of the firm to exploit his invention of the wooden rim for bicycles, forming the AC Fairbanks Wood Rim Co.Most of the tailpieces and many of the tuners also came from Waverly.That there were others making some hardware is indisputed, but Waverly made most of it.The clawhammer banjo style of Boston banjo virtuoso Ken Perlman, for example, is highly melodic and uses the thumb extensively to play long single-note lines that use the drone string more for melody notes than for rhythmic accent.

It has grown beyond the very narrow purposes of identifying certain changes in the Vega made banjo models, especially the Whyte Laydie and Tubaphone, to include when the name stamps changed.Note: After considering the Pickin' list of known F&C serial numbers where the total number produced was evenly divided among the 10 years of producton, I decided that it was not unlikely that F&C actually started a new series with each passing year.The following adjusted designation by year is, like the prior authoritative list, probably accurate within 1 year.The term "double thumbing" is sometimes used interchangeably with "drop thumbing", though double thumbing refers specifically to striking the fifth string after every beat rather than every other beat, while drop thumbing refers to dropping the thumb from the 5th drone string down to strike a melody note.Confusing the nomenclature further are the terms that are used for perceived variations on the method.

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