ODE banjos was founded by Chuck Ogsbury who started making banjos while still at University in Denver, Colorado in 1959. In 1961 he opened his first proper workshop in North Boulder and employed a friend, Dave Walden, to help with production. 1962 saw a move to a larger workshop and an expanded line of banjos. Creston Stewart (later of StewMac) joined ODE around 1963 and contributed to designs of new models.ODE sold their banjos direct to customers but also had a brand Muse which was distributed via music stores.
In 1966 Ogsbury sold ODE to the Baldwin Company, who were expanding their musical instrument line by purchasing musical instrument manufacturers. In 1968 Baldwin moved ODE from Boulder to Arkansas where it remained until the early 1980s when Baldwin wound up many of its subsidiaries to bankruptcy. Initially Baldwin labelled their banjos as "Baldwin" then "Baldwin ODE" and finally just "ODE".
Folowing the sale of ODE to Baldwin, Chuck Ogsbury went back to engineering school before founding another banjo company - OME in the early 1970s.
Source: ODE catalogs 1961 - 1967