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Vega Banjo Ukulele
Vega Banjo Ukulele
Vega Baritone Ukulele
Vega "Classic Lute" Baritone
Deering Goodtime Concert Banjolele with an 11 inch drum
Deering Goodtime Concert
Vega started in the 1880's as a brass instrument maker in Boston USA, but with the purchase of Fairbanks Banjos and Thompson & Odell at the start of the 20th century they moved into the fretted Instrument business too. They had a number of innovations over the years including bringing the first Electric Ukulele to market in 1938 and claiming to have invented the Baritone Ukulele in the 1950's, (seems unlikely as Kay were producing them in 1928 and Favilla were making the same claim at the same time?), they were promoting an Arthur Godfrey endorsed Baritone at the time though (Arthur Godfrey was endorsing Emenee made plastic Sopranos too, but Emenee never made plastic Baritones? could be a reason he switched from Maccaferri?) In the 70's the company was acquired by Martin who wanted to capitalise on the banjo reputation, but they sold it to the Deering Banjo Co. in 1989. Deering continue to produce Vega Banjos but not Banjoleles; though at the 2015 NAMM they showed off and new Concert scale Banjolele they have placed in their Goodtime range

Though there are Guitars and other all wooden chordophones made pre WWII, I have not seen any acoustic wooden Ukuleles, and I have not seem any non-Baritone scale Ukuleles pre or post war? They certainly made Banjoleles pre WWII though and with the Banjo Instruments sometimes they were very elaborately engraved and sometimes the didn't even have Vega on the headstock just a single five pointed star, (which can be quite confusing because other makers including Slingerland did this too, But Vega's Headstock design is quite distinct).

With regard to the Baritone Ukuleles they sold, it should be noted that they did not make all of them, themselves Vega too, took advantage of the quality end of the Japanese production of the 1950s and 60' by marketing, (for them the lower end), rebranded imports.

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