Gibson TB-1 #9464-79, the "Bernard Crittenden"

        #9464-79 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead    #9464-79 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead back    #9464-79 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead inlay   

Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 first-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 third-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 fifth-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 seventh-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 tenth-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 twelfth-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 fifteenth-fret inlay    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 seventeenth-fret inlay

Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 pot    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 pot    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 pot    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 armrest    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 Grover Presto tailpiece    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 Grover Presto tailpiece    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 flange    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 rim holes    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 peghead logo

Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 neck wear    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 Grover tuner    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 resonator sidewall separation    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 neck heel and flange    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 nut and resonator bracket    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 resonator screws

Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 inside pot    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 factory order numbers in resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 large factory order number in resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 small factory order number in resonator    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 The Gibson decal in rim    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 factory order number in rim    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 rim holes inside    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 rim strip detail    Gibson banjo TB-1 #9464-79 rim with added strip

Beginning in 1925, non-Mastertone Gibson banjos featured a "bracket shoe" type of construction while Mastertone models incorporated a two-piece, "tube and plate" flange.  In 1929, all Gibson banjo models made the transition to the die-cast, one-piece flange; after a small number of prototypes of various models had been produced, the new one-piece-flange construction entered production in earnest with lot #9464, which consisted of at least ninety style 1 tenor banjos.  The first one-piece flanges produced for Gibson by Doehler Die Casting proved, in many cases, to be too lightly constructed to stand up well to the tension of the head-tightening brackets; the flange design was soon reworked into a sturdier configuration.  #9464-79 features a "first-generation" one-piece flange with a corresponding rim thickness below the flange of approximately .640" as opposed to the approximately .600" seen on banjos with the second-generation flange.

#9464-79 incorporates other features of the redesigned style 1, including a double-bound maple resonator, fleur-de-lis inlay pattern, and modified fiddle-shape peghead.  The fiddle-shape peghead had been used on Mastertone banjos beginning in 1925 and was slightly modified for use on the revamped style 1; the two small indentations in the sides of the peghead below the first- and fourth-string tuners seen on this banjo are a holdover from the 1920s design but did not appear on later examples.

This TB-1 remains in original condition with the exception of a refinished resonator, which now has a slightly lighter color and reveals more figure in the maple than that normally seen on style 1 banjos.  The original flange is pulled up due to bracket tension but is stable and free of cracks.  There are two patched holes in the rim which probably accommodated wiring for the lights frequently mounted inside the pot by banjoists in earlier decades; the rim also features an added outer strip of very thin maple, a factory modification which has been observed on some other examples and was apparently intended to provide a tighter fight of the flange to the rim.  Unlike most style 1 banjos, #9464-79 features four resonator screws rather than three.  Whereas most style 1 banjos were equipped with the Grover "first model" or "window" tailpiece, this example features a Grover Presto.

The longtime owner of #9464-79 was Bernard Crittenden (May 20, 1919-January 30, 1996) of Rockford, Illinois; the banjo remained in the Crittenden family until April 2017.

 


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