I have done some simple research and have come to the obscured conclusion that the banjo itself is from the early 1950's. I removed the resonator and it answered my question of, "Was it originally a open-back banjo?". Yes it was a open-back banjo originally!
The rim of the back of the banjo has these intricate and probably hand laid inlays of arrows and various lines in a continual circle of colors. The single-bar holding the neck to the base of the banjo was wooden and had the name "Whyte Laydie" carved in it. I attempted to look up the serial number, but I could only find similar numbers to models from the 1950's.
It appears as if this maybe a rare find, being that the headstock has no star or inlays just "Vega". Maybe this is a replacement? But then again every thing appears just as it was when it was made. I say this since there were no modifications to the inside of the rim at all, everything was dusty and there were no extra holes or scratch marks.
I've managed to fix the loose hooks just simply tightening with plyer / wire cutters. I'm not sure whether or not to convert it to it's original open-back state, however the parts are well maintained (excluding wear and tear from the decades) and are worth keeping. But if I were to remove the after-market resonator it would be more uncomfortable to cradle in my lap and weight reduction would not be significant (not counting the significant dampening in sound).
I can appreciate this banjo, it's very nice. I wish I could find more information on this specific model. Well more research! I'll post as I go along.