From the staid Victorian parlor to Woodstock, sweeping cultural changes in America have been accompanied by new musical styles and instrumentation. The simple handmade fretless banjos of minstrelsy gave way to the modern, often exquisitely crafted, fretted banjos of the classic banjo orchestra and later the powerful resonator banjos of the jazz era. Carved top mandolins were created in the early twentieth century for the popular mandolin orchestras and clubs of the day but by the 1940s would join the banjo in defining the emerging sound of bluegrass. The guitar was transformed dramatically from the small gut string guitar to steel string flattops and archtops and later the electric guitar. The steel guitar and ukulele gave voice to Hawaiian music. With the rise of jazz, blues, country, bluegrass and rock, builders large and small competed to meet the needs of musicians with constant innovation and novel designs. This continual refinement has produced a diverse assortment of classic fretted instruments with unique and inspiring voices. Vintage Fretted Instruments celebrates this musical legacy with an informative and practical reference for collectors of old guitars, mandolins and banjos. Topics are wide ranging including construction differences between makes, historical overviews of the different instrument manufacturers and helpful information for amassing and maintaining a collection. Suggested tunings, string types and gauges for a host of unusual instruments are also furnished. Portraits of mandolin, guitar and banjo family instruments are provided along with detailed photos, including x-ray and infrared images where needed, to illustrate finer construction details. Psychological motivators for collecting are discussed along with a summary of recent research on the effects of age and long term playing on the tone of vintage instruments.