Gibson TB-1 #9543-47, the "Ed Brenot"

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 front    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 back    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead back    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 truss rod cover

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 lower frets    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 middle frets    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 upper frets    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 factory order number on neck heel    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead in #509 case

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead logo    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 Grover two-tab tuner    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 upper frets and pot    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 neck heel and flange

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot in #509 case    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 resonator back    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot inside

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 factory order number in resonator    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 small factory order number in resonator    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 factory order number in rim    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 Gibson decal in rim

#9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 flange    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 neck in #509 case    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 #509 case open    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 in #509 case    #9543-47 Gibson banjo TB-1 #509 case closed

The style 1, priced at $50, was a mainstay of Gibson's lower-priced non-Mastertone line of the 1930s.  Style 1 had nickel-plated hardware and a dark-finished maple neck and resonator, with white binding on the neck and both edges of the resonator; the tailpiece was an inexpensive type referred to in Gibson catalogs as the "Grover first model".  Even though the Mastertone models had by this time gone to the double-cut peghead shape, the fiddle-shaped peghead was retained on style 1, with a minor modification--the two small indentations normally found under the fourth- and first-string tuners were absent.  The rosewood fingerboard was normally inlaid with a fleur-de-lis inlay pattern which is also known by such varying names as "gulls" and "flying birds".

#9543-47 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1930 and was originally owned by Ed Brenot of Meadville, Pennsylvania, who personalized his banjo with a letter "B" on the truss-rod cover.  The one-piece flange is of the smaller first-generation type normally associated with 1929 production, with a resulting rim thickness of .640" below the flange.  This example has four resonator lugs rather than the three normally seen on style 1 and, like many four-lug style 1 banjos, was most likely shipped without an armrest.  #9543-47 remains in its original #509 case by Geib and Schaefer; this fine-sounding tenor banjo remained in the family of the original owner until June 2013.

#9543-47 has now been converted to five-string flathead with a straight-grain maple neck by Frank Neat and an eighteen-hole, nickel-plated tone ring by Bill Blaylock.  Here are a few sound files:

Hot Corn, Cold Corn

Little Darlin', Pal of Mine

Home Sweet Home

Coal Miner's Blues

Welcome to New York
 


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