Stanley Viola

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F.E. and F.O. Stanley were identical twins born in Kingsland, Maine, on June 1, 1849. They operated a successful dry-plate photographic business in Massachusetts until they became fascinated by automobiles in 1896. A steam-powered vehicle built by George Whitney first sparked their interest, and soon after they both encountered a French-designed gasoline auto at a fair in Brockton, Massachusetts. Within months they designed a steam engine destined for their first car that was built for them by the Mason Regulator Company of Milton, Massachusetts.

By 1915 it had become clear to most that the internal combustion gasoline engine was the powerplant of the future and steam a thing of the past. Still F.E. Stanley continued racing his cars over the New England countryside. Sadly, on July 21, 1918, he was fatally injured in a car accident near Ipswich, Massachusetts. Crushed by the death of his twin, F.O. sold the company and turned to the manufacture of violins.

Both of the stanley twins, as well as their nephew Carlton were avid makers of stringed musical intsruments. As with everything the Stanleys did, their instruments are of the highest quality. Many of them are on display at The Stanley Museum in Kingfield, Maine, that is where the measurements for this instrument come from

Specifications Medium Stanley Viola

Measurements (all in millimeters and taken with a calliper, i.e. straight, not over the arch)




Length (taken from side of button)

Upper Bouts

Middle Bouts (taken at narrowest point)

Lower Bouts

Arching Height

Stop Length



The following measurements reflect the present day setup of the instrument and may not have been the original settings.

String Length

Neck Length

Neck Elevation At Bridge

Tailpiece Length

Fingerboard Length

Available colors

(colors can also be mixed to create other colors)

Amber Brown Dark Brown Golden Brown
Golden yellow Red Brown Red yellow