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Fred J Bacon

1871 to 1948

.. was one of the leading banjo soloists of America, was born in 1871, became a pupil of A A Farland and started his professional career at the age of 16 years. In 1890 he met a lady who was to become his wife and stage partner in tours that for many years took them across the USA from NY to California.

In 1908 he opened a studio at Forestdale, Vermont and with the title of "The Bacon Manufacturing Company " first advertised the "Bacon Professional Banjo" which had been made for him by the Vega Co. of Boston Mass.

By 1921 he had formed the Bacon Banjo Co. with a factory at Grotton, Conn.  to manufacrure instruments that were said to "incorporate the ideas of tone and workmanship by the President Fred J Bacon" .  Bacon banjos were in demand and the factory kept working overtime to fulfill orders.

On September 18th 1922 David L Day, with 39 years of of experience behind him left the Vega company and joined the Bacon Banjo Co as Vice President and General Manager and sson after the instruments were branded with the "B&D Silver Bell" trade mark.

The Depression of 1929 seriously affected the company's business and in 1939 it was taken over by Fred Gretch Mfg. co. Inc. of 60 Broadway Brooklyn, New York. which continued t0 make the "B&D" banjos.

Fred Bacon died in 1948 and David L Day in 1956.

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Pictures courtesy of Smakula's Fretted Instruments

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