Bacon Style B Guitar Banjo (1924)

Bacon  Style B Guitar Banjo  (1924)
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Item # 12107
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Bacon Style B Model Guitar Banjo (1924), made in Groton CT, serial # 12620, natural varnish finish, laminated maple neck and rim, ebonized fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a rare and interesting JUST pre-Bacon & Day instrument, a Bacon-branded Style B Banjo-Guitar. While not as flashy a piece as the Silver Bells just being developed when it was built, like all Bacon banjos this is built to the highest quality standards. In the 1910s and early '20s the Bacon company sold a decent number of five-string and tenor banjos but not many of these; this is the first example of this style we have seen.

The Style # 2 is not a particularly fancy banjo (especially by Bacon standards) but is very solidly built. The natural-finished thick maple rim has a heavy hoop and simple sheathed tone ring. The laminated maple neck has a bound ebonized fingerboard inlaid with simple pearl shapes, there are multiple wood underlays beneath the fingerboard and headstock. All trim is wood except for grained ivoroid binding on the fingerboard; Bacon was a few years away from the extensive use of Celluloid that became a company trademark later in the '20s. The headstock face bears only an inlaid Bacon script logo. The fairly chunky neck has deep rounded profile similar to the later Silver Bell banjo-guitars.

The hardware is good quality and original except for the tuners, which are later geared Grover pegs. While fairly plainly ornamented this is still a superbly built instrument and a very good sounding 6-string banjo. David Day's partnering with Fred Bacon soon ended the run of these older models, paving the way for the Silver Bells. This is a cool and rare survivor of the era just before.
 
Overall length is 35 in. (88.9 cm.), 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm.) diameter head, and 3 in. (7.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 7/8 in. (606 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.).

This is a nice clean instrument overall, and remains all original except for later 1960-70s geared tuners in place of the original non-geared variety. This is not historically accurate but a big bonus for actually tuning the banjo! There is some very light finish wear and minor clouding to the plating. The headstock face has some checking and scratching. The plating on the some of the hooks has mostly corroded away but for 100 years old this Guit-Jo is really looking VERY good. The original frets and fingerboard show minimal wear, really only at the first fret and amazingly the original Bacon 3-footed maple bridge is still intact. The banjo is set up with an older genuine calfskin head and sounds and plays excellent, a cool and rare instrument from one of the 1920s finest makers. It resides in a later good quality HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.