In 1856 Oliver Ditson employed Haynes to lead the formers move into musical instrument manufacture by setting up the the John C Haynes Company to make a range of fretted instruments.
Ditson died in 1888, Haynes took over the business and by 1892 he was advertising "The Lewis Banjo" as "endorsed by the best players".
By1895 guitars and mandolins made by Haynes new venture "The Bay State Company" were being sold by the F J Martin Company of Kansas City, and by 1897, it was stated in an American magasine, the products of this company had received "27 awards at the principle Expositions" and that in June of that year the company had "taken on several new hands" to comply with the demands for their well-known instruments.
The name of "Bay State" was used by John C Haynes & Co of 453-464 Washington Street and 33 Count Street, Boston, Mass. and the first advertisements for Bay State banjos appears in 1903; the instruments being sold by firms in Boston, New York & Philadelphia.