Smithsonian Collections

Fairbanks Five-String Banjo

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Smithsonian Museum
National Museum of American History
This banjo was made by The A.C. Fairbanks Company of Boston, Massachusetts in 1899. It is a "Regent" model and stamped with serial number 18151. It has 28 brackets, neck and fingerboard with mother-of-pearl inlay, and a metal-covered wood hoop.

Albert Conant Fairbanks began making banjos in 1868 with William A. Cole, a well-known Boston banjo player and teacher. Around 1888, the A.C. Fairbanks Co., Fairbanks was joined by David L. Day. Six years later, Fairbanks sold his interest in the company to businessmen Cummings & Dodge. In 1904, the Vega Co. acquired the business and continued to produce popular banjos made by Fairbanks.
Currently not on view
A. C. Fairbanks Co.
Date Made
Credit Line
Gift of James P. and Vada M. Hogan
Physical Description
wood (part material)
ivory (part material)
mother-of-pearl (part material)
overall: 36 1/4 in x 11 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 92.075 cm x 29.21 cm x 6.985 cm
Object Type