The banjo pictured above is a PB-00 plectrum banjo; like many style 00 instruments, this banjo bears no serial number or factory order number and so cannot be dated exactly. Style 00 was introduced in 1935 and production continued through the early 1940s. It was the least expensive banjo Gibson manufactured in the prewar period, with a list price of $30.00.
This banjo conforms to standard catalog specifications for style 00, with maple neck and resonator, sunburst finish on the neck and back and sides of the resonator, binding on the back edge of the resonator only, nickel-plated hardware, one-piece pot metal flange, dot inlays in a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and no tone ring. The peghead shape is unique to style 00, and the Gibson logo is silkscreened in white rather than being inlaid in mother of pearl. Style 00 banjos are seen with both a standard 5/8" inch rim and with a 1/2" rim; this banjo has the 1/2" rim and no Gibson label.
The tuners and tailpiece on
this banjo have been replaced, and a previous owner scratched the names of chord positions
into the side of the neck for reference! This was the
first prewar Gibson banjo I ever owned--I bought it from
Goose Acres Folk Music Center of
Cleveland, Ohio at the Old
Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia in August 1990.