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Gibson banjo dating

The first banjo was announced in a price list dated October 1918.

Rims: Except for the very first Gibson banjos, all of the rims for this period have been made of steamed, rolled, and laminated maple.

Depending on the model, there were constructed of either three or four plies: three plies of 1/4″ maple to make up a 3/4″ rim machined down for one-piece flange models, and four plies of 1/4″ rim to make up the heavy rim used for tube-and-plate models.

Variations which grew from this model were to become the standard of excellence for banjos around the world.

The craftsmanship of the earliest Gibson banjos was good, but the construction was nothing more than basic.

Thus a TB-5 was a tenor banjo with -5 grade fancy trimmings.

(For more detailed information on the various models, see Banjo Models.) From 1925 to 1930, several fancy models made their debut; the style -6 with fancy black-and-white binding (or sometimes gold-speckled binding); the TF or Florentine; the TG or Granada; the Bella Voce (which means “beautiful voice” in Italian); and the All American — an elaborate instrument with a carved eagle on the peghead.

Certain models bring the highest prices from collectors around the world, and for some professional bluegrass banjoists, a Mastertone is the only instrument they will play.