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1920s Chas A. Stromberg/Vega Little Wonder

This banjo is a very interesting collaboration between 2  instrument makers in Boston Massachusetts
The banjo is a 1920s Vega Little Wonder, 17 fret tenor banjo, open back
28 bracket hook,10-15/16" rim assembly
It was taken to the Stromberg shop and modified.
This was "possibly done or a customer, but I have another take on that.
This banjo came from a time when Stromberg, only a few blocks from the Vega factory, was transitioning from their own open back banjos to a resonator banjo.
Those open backs were constructed with the Stromberg proprietary "Cuppophone" tone ring,tailpiece, and other pieces.
The necks and rims both were made under contract, by the Vega Co.

To stay away from patent woes, the rims were turned to different specs, the hardware slightly modified, the  inlays different, etc.
The" Cuppo-phone", and the Vega "Tub-a-phone", we re advertising catch phrases  built upon the advent of the Tele-phone
This was not 2 companies in competition, the Stromberg shop was tiny in comparison, and they had a friendly relationship.
I will also mention that Chas.Stromberg, as well as my Grandfather, both worked part-time at the Vega plant.

So this banjo, sports a Stromberg Rosewood resonator with 4 flanges  , a common Stromberg design.
These were built under contract by Wm.Lange, NYC
The stain on the neck, and rim outside, are also  the tint color Stromberg used on the banjos made from maple, from Vega parts , before they went to Lange -Made Rosewood Necks and resonators and stained rim outside.
So... my "slant" on this...
I think there is a fair possibility, that this is the prototype banjo for what was later to become the "Marimba" and "Deluxe"  models that replaced the open back 17 fret model.
Reasoning
Vega/Stromberg connection, Resonator/ flange cutouts- fits the 28 bracket Little Wonder, as if it were made for it.
Rubber stoppers on rim bottom, this is also a Stromberg trait, not Vega
Stromberg Business Card, rarely seen, not the metal plate that has been seen on other models, and repaired instruments that were taken to the Stromberg shop.
Reddish brown stain not used by Vega, but was used by Stromberg, Elton Armrest, as used in later Stromberg design
Rosewood fingerboard- not a Little Wonder commonality, but is used on all Stromberg banjos.
So for me, it is not a stretch to postulate that this was the prototype for the later models.
I am calling on my connection with Stromberg, the number I have seen with my own eyes and in pics, to come to that theory.
I may never know, but my gut tells me something is going on here, that is not a banjo that was taken in to have a Resonator added, it miraculously fitting, and then a perfectly good natural finish over stained in reddish brown.
VM
INITIAL PICS
Re-assembly-Setup
10-15/16 Kevlar Head -Deering
Original HSC, Fair condition - no case handle, latches work
1979 FIGA convention sticker - Chicago