New England luthier Carlton Fairfield Stanley was born in 1879 in Newton, Massachusetts and died there c. 1950. His great grandfather Liberty Stanley (b. 1776) was a farmer and amateur violin maker in Kingfield, Maine and his uncles were the legendary twin brothers Freelan Oscar (1849-1940) and Francis Edgar Stanley (1849-1918), who were extraordinarily versatile inventors and entrepreneurs in the Boston area. In addition to inventing the Stanley Steamer automobile, the Stanley Dry Plate photo processing system (sold to Eastman-Kodak in 1904), and an image-focusing device which improved the precision of the X-ray machine, the brothers were also violin makers, who established a successful commercial violin business in Newton around 1900. Carlton trained and worked at the shop with his uncles, becoming a highly prolific maker of over 500 instruments. Many of his instruments were sold "in the white" to the famous Wurlitzer musical instrument company, whose own workshop varnished them--such as the viola offered here. Among the numerous clients who purchased C. F. Stanley violins was Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer.