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For example, the Pierce Piano Atlas, which reputedly used information directly from piano companies, is rife with errors. I suspect you may have the same concerns of the '23-'32 data fluctuations, and then the straight decline.I presently own a Chickering piano which is listed in the atlas as being produced in 1914, even though the factory date stamps show it as being made in 1907, and on my tuning and rebuilding jobs I've encountered many other instruments with date stamps and signatures that didn't jibe with the dates Bob Pierce had collected. I have 2 bills of sales so far, one does not fit the model at all..
Looking at things from a launch perspective, the Vega Phone is of interest (Jun 1923) - the earliest Vegaphone I can find is SN - 59019. Given the extensive work you've done, if the Vega SN sequence is continuous for Banjo/Mandolin/etc., when compared to your Bacon Banjo view, a real problem is apparent; and it's not with your view!I have a couple more bills of sale, but seem to be second hand as they generally dont fit anywhere close to any known models. After much review, something jumped out at me when looking over the Bollman data, and my collected stats. It has abalone shell along the bottom edge of the pot and 'Vegaphone' on the dowel stick. Harry Bickel Louisville, KY#14918 was my own banjo for a while, and I did the restoration on it.The beginning of year's SN seem to most-always be on flat numbers (i.e. Here is a tabular view that summarizes the SNs extremely well. The number was applied when the banjo was about ready to ship. I've seen the Fairbanks by Vega stamp on Vegaphone plectrums with mahogany necks, many also have Tubaphone NO 3 stamped on the dowel and some have both stamps. According to Mugwumps this dates it at 1925 although on your blog you show 1924. It's the big pot version - 11 & 13/16" with 30 hooks and a beautiful deep tone. I was never entirely convinced that the neck and rim were original to each other, or that the Fairbanks plate was original to the banjo.Yours would be from late '26-'27 based on the data available.However, the intent of this thread is to push the SN to the earliest known by model.
Smakula has quoted 58982 as having a clear "Apr 1923" printed on the instrument) 60306/61899/62930/63139/63434 (all have mixed Vegaphone identification attributes i.e.