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December 28, 2016--Today I've added the Gibson banjo shipping totals for July 1942.  Shipping was up somewhat from its all-time low the previous month, but the July shipping entries reflect major changes on the way; for the first time since at least April 1935 not a single tenor banjo was shipped, and the last day of this month saw Gibson's first shipment of war material.

December 26, 2016--This has been a year of great prewar Gibson banjo discoveries, one of the most significant being RB-7 Mastertone #FG335-2, the "Charlie Macrow", which surfaced in Johannesburg, South Africa.  This banjo has been on the website for several months but I have now added many more photos and a link to a video showing the banjo in action!

December 13, 2016--Here are the Gibson banjo shipping totals for June 1942.  That month saw a dramatic decrease in banjo shipping, with only eight instruments leaving the factory. . . although two of them were RB-75s.

November 21, 2016--TB-4 Mastertone #9553-32 dates to 1930 and features the "hearts and flowers" inlay pattern rather than the "flying eagle" pattern more commonly associated with that model.

November 1, 2016--This TB-00 dates to the 1930s and was played for over fifty years by Nathan Ellis (1919-1989) of Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.

October 26, 2016--RB-800 #849887 dates to 1966 and, although it's not a prewar banjo, is a rare instrument and significant in that it represents Gibson's first attempt to revive the classic styling of its prewar Mastertone line.

October 18, 2016--Today's addition is TB-2 #9729-36, which dates to 1930 and is highly unusual due to its chrome plating and engraved Grover DeLuxe "clamshell" tailpiece.

October 6, 2016--I have now uploaded the Gibson banjo shipping totals for May 1942.  Five-string banjos accounted for almost eighty percent of all banjos shipped that month, but only one of them was a Mastertone and nearly half were Kalamazoo-brand.

September 26, 2016--I have added MB-11 #F5635-5 to my page of Prewar Gibson Banjos for Sale.  Please contact me for more information.

September 25, 2016--TB-1 #9774-22 is a beautiful example whose original owner, Dana Schweinle Scholl of Texas, just passed away last month.

September 22, 2016--Today I've added photos of TB-Granada Mastertone #9470-28 with its beautiful new five-string conversion neck by Frank and Ricky Neat.

September 21, 2016--MB-11 #F5635-5 was shipped quite late into World War II.  How late?  Late enough that the factory apparently was out of both armrests and resonator thumb screws!

September 15, 2016--I have now uploaded the Gibson banjo shipping totals for April 1942.  Only twenty-five banjos were shipped that month, and just over half were the budget-priced style 00.  I have also added TB-1 #252-19 to my list of Prewar Gibson Banjos for Sale.  More prewar Gibson banjos will be listed for sale soon!

September 12, 2016--Today we have TB-1 #252-19, a nice example dating to 1932.

September 10, 2016--I have added TB-1 #9542-50 to my page of Prewar Gibson Banjos for Sale.  Please contact me for more information.

September 4, 2016--TB-5 Mastertone #9029-23 was owned for many decades by tenor banjoist Jim Robinson, who can be seen here putting the banjo through its paces in 2001.

August 25, 2016--Here are the Gibson banjo shipping totals for March 1942.  Out of twenty-two banjos shipped that month, three were Mastertones; one was a TB-7 top-tension while the other two were new-old-stock Florentines (one tenor and one plectrum).

August 9, 2016--Lot #9470 was the first production run of Granadas in the new one-piece-flange configuration; TB-Granada Mastertone #9470-28 is beautiful example from this lot of banjos and even retains its original hang tag!

June 9, 2016--Today's update features one of the most significant prewar Gibson banjo discoveries of recent years: RB-7 Mastertone #FG335-2 was shipped to South Africa in the summer of 1940 and just returned to the United States within the past two weeks.

May 22, 2016--Here are the Gibson banjo shipping totals for February 1942.  Thirteen of the twenty-six banjos shipped that month were five-strings, but only two of them were Mastertones.  The purge of new-old-stock "fancy banjos" continued, with two TB-Florentines being shipped to Davitt and Hanser of Cincinnati, Ohio.

May 20, 2016--Thanks to Joshua Lee Hymer for contributing photos and sound files of TB-3 Mastertone #9488-34!

April 10, 2016--Here are the Gibson banjo shipping totals for January 1942, the company's first full month of shipping in the wartime period.

April 9, 2016--Gibson made large numbers of Kalamazoo-brand tenor banjos between 1936 and 1940, but this example is one of only a very few to feature the one-piece cast flange seen on more expensive Gibson-made banjo models of the time.

March 21, 2016--Eleven-year-old Gordon Florey of Scranton, Pennsylvania was given TB-1 #917-18 as a Christmas present in 1936; he obviously never put in much playing time on the banjo, with the result that today it remains in like-new, "time capsule" condition.

March 7, 2016--#9926-28 is a beautiful, fully original TB-3 dating to 1931; it was given as collateral for a $300 loan in the early 1960s. 

March 4, 2016--Today we have a recent and noteworthy "under-the-bed" find, TB-Granada Mastertone #9522-1.  It features an especially attractive curly maple resonator veneer and the optional "Vibrato Tone-Master" armrest-activated mute.

February 28, 2016--It has obviously been far too long since I did an update!  Thanks to all of you who have let me know how much you look forward to new content on the site, and I appreciate your patience.  I have a big backlog of terrific banjos to add to the site and I'm starting with PB-3 Mastertone #9524-17, an original flathead now converted to five-string with a neck by Jim Grainger of Sparta, Tennessee.  Thanks to the anonymous owner for his contribution!

January 12, 2016--Today we have another Gibson instrument originally shipped to South Africa; this 1939 UB-1's tiny peghead is barely big enough to contain the silkscreened "Gibson" logo.

January 9, 2016--Here are the Gibson banjo shipping totals for December 1941, the month in which the United States entered World War II.

January 5, 2016--Welcome to our eighteenth year!  We start 2016 off with TB-1 #9542-50; it dates to 1930 and remains in original condition with the exception of a replaced tension hoop.


What's New 2015

What's New 2014

What's New 2013

What's New 2012

What's New 2011

What's New 2010

What's New 2009

What's New 2008

What's New 2007

What's New 2006

 


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