Vega Tu-ba-phone Banjo

Description (Brief)
This Tu-ba-phone model banjo was made by the Vega Company in Boston, Massachusetts around 1922. It has 28 brackets, a carved mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard with inlaid pearl position marks, and a patented brass top hoop and bracket band over a 7 lap sectional maple hoop. The banjo and is stamped with the serial number 50232.

The Vega Company purchased the A. C. Fairbanks Company in 1904 and produced banjos of high quality largely based on earlier designs of Fairbanks. This Tu-ba-phone model incorporated a heavy “tone ring” originally patented by Fairbanks in 1890, a feature still favored by modern banjo players for the quality of tone it produced.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
date made
ca 1922
Vega Company
overall: 37 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in; 95.25 cm x 29.21 cm x 6.35 cm
overall: 37 in x 11 5/8 in x 2 5/8 in; 93.98 cm x 29.5275 cm x 6.6675 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Adam Gallan
Additional Media

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