- acoustic guitars
James Ashborn was an English guitar maker born around 1816 who emigrated to New England in the late 1830s. He opened a workshop in Torrington, Connecticut and soon began selling instruments to New York distributors including William Hall & Son, Firth, Pond & Co (whose brand names appeared inside the instruments).
Ashborn's had a machinist's approach to instrument construction - suggesting he had some engineering training, and he equipped his workshop with water-powered saws and routers. Combining these powered tools with a mini production line of around 10 workers he was able to produce around 54 instruments per month. The Ashborn workshop ceased production around 1869.
Ashborn was known for parlor-style guitars with Spanish influenced interior bracing. Ashborn's banjos were the first banjo to employ improved friction tuners, amongst the first banjos to come with frets, and with geared tuners.