A fine banjo from the early 20th Century!
Bacon Professional "FF"

© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF

This grand old timer is a personal favorite of mine. In fact, this very instrument is one of the first elegant old 5-string banjos I had the pleasure of meeting about 35 years ago. Apart from the fact it has my intials on the dowel stick, I think it's just about the coolest banjo I know. (Actually, I suspect the "FF" stands for "double forte," meaning "good and loud.")

It's all original, apart from the addition of geared tuners and modern frets. No mistaking that peghead shape, the "chubby dragon" peghead inlay, or the "swollen" heel section - telltale signs of Fairbanks design and workmanship. Presumably, Bacon had instruments made first by Fairbanks and later by Lange before he was able to get his own manufacturing facility up and running. The "internal resonator" shell and its lightweight spun brass tone ring gives this banjo a characteristic sweet ring, although it lacks some of the punch of other period heavyweights such as the Whyte Laydie. I don't recall seeing the sunflower motif heel carving on another instrument.

Please click the small image

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