A.C. Fairbanks

Parent brand: 

product types: 

  • banjos
  • mandolins
  • acoustic guitars


A.C. Fairbanks and William E Cole established the Fairbanks & Cole musical instrument workshop in Beach Street, Boston in 1880 to make guitars, banjos and mandolins. William's brother Frank Cole also joined as production manager. In 1890 they patented a banjo tone ring design which evetually became the famous Whyte Laydie model in 1903. Fairbanks himself left the company in 1892 to concentrate on making wooden bicycle rims. The Cole brothers also left to form another banjo company. Fairbanks & Cole was bought by Dodge & Cummings who changed the name to AC Fairbanks & Co Inc. and put David L Day (later of Bacon Banjo Co.) in charge of production at new premises at 786 Washington Street. In 1904 the Washington Street factory burned down and the AC Fairbanks was taken over by the Vega Company.  This marked the start of banjo production for Vega who continued the production of “Fairbanks “instruments and in addition launched their own Vega banjo – both ranges of instruments being made in the same workshops and were otherwise identical apart from the brand names. Vega dropped the Fairbanks brand name in 1922.

Source: Vintage Banjo Makers - Fairbanks


A.C. Fairbanks and Company
786 Washington Street
Boston , MA
United States
Massachusetts US