The Favilla Brothers started building string instruments in the United States in 1890. Four years later my Grandfather John (Giovanni) and his brother Joseph, a violin builder, formed a company in 1894. (A generation earlier the family was building string instruments in Italy under my Great-grandfather Francesco).
In the United States, in 1890, they started in a combination music store and instrument shop located at 161 Bowery, and at one point 200 & 201 Grand Street in New York City. In the early 1920's they employed 55 people, building thousands of ukuleles as well as mandolins, banjos, guitars and some violins (built by Joseph). If it had strings on it the Favilla brothers built it.
About 1930 they moved the shop briefly to 552 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, then to 4 W. 16th Streeet in New York City where the shop remained until 1959 when it was taken over by my father Hercules (known as Herk) after a tumultuous ten year internal struggle with his brother Frank (a