Vega Tenor Banjo
This banjo was made by the Vega Company in Boston, Massachusetts, around 1929. It is a Four-String Banjo, Soloist Model, Serial #87500, with a seven-lap laminated maple rim, gold-finish top hoop and hooks, new design flanges and 28 brackets, patented Tu-ba phone tone tube and bracket band in a nickel finish. The neck is made of maple, peghead with mother of pearl inlay, ebony fingerboard with pearl inlay position marks, and 22 frets. Gold-finish gear pegs with white pearloid buttons, gold-finish tailpiece. The resonator is made of a maple five ply laminated shell and rim. The dowel stick is stamped:
THE VEGA COMPANY
BOSTON, MASS. U.S.A.[Vega star]
JAN 10. 1893
This banjo features the following patents:
U. S. Patent #443510 dated December 30, 1890, by Albert C. Fairbanks, for new and useful improvements in banjos.
U. S. Patent #489470 dated January 10, 1893, by Albert C. Fairbanks, for new and useful improvements in banjos.
U. S. Patent #928948 dated July 27, 1909, by David L. Day, assignor to the Vega Company, for an improved means for stretching and retaining the head of a banjo.
The ”Soloist” banjo is described in a 1928 Vega catalog:
“The new Soloist model is designed to offer the finest tonal qualities, characteristic of all Vegaphones, with an attractive flashing appearance. This model is the ideal instrument for the player who desires a combination of superior tone and a flashing golden appearance.”
This make and style of the Soloist Vegaphone banjo was listed for $200.00.
- Currently not on view
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
- Vega Company
- Date made
- date made
- ca 1929
- Credit Line
- Gift of Adam Gallan
- Physical Description
- maple (overall material)
- metal (overall material)
- ebony (overall material)
- mother of pearl (overall material)
- animal skin (overall material)
- overall: 34 in x 13 1/2 in x 3 1/4 in; 86.36 cm x 34.29 cm x 8.255 cm
- Object Name