I knew someone would ask about the banjo. It's by Charlie Glenn, from the same area of North Carolina as Frank Proffit and Clifford Glenn. He learned to make these from Stanley Hicks, of Foxfire fame (married Stanley Hick's niece, in fact). Since Clifford Glenn stopped selling a few years ago, I think Charlie may be the last of the direct line for this style banjo.
This particular instrument is a fretless with cherry neck and maple head that I picked up for an unusually great deal on Ebay.
As for babies and kids liking the banjo - I've always found that to be true. Cathy Fink used to be greeted by screams when she brought out the banjo at children's concerts - and I meaan the good kind of screams, not the ones that adults sometimes greet banjos with. Our toddler friends all love the sound of the banjo - why is that? Is it the brightness, with its high frequencies so well attuned to their hearing range? Is it the bouncy, cheerful sound of a lot of banjo music?
Or is it because nobody even blinks when a banjo player drools on their instrument?