The mandolin-banjo, with a banjo body but strung and tuned like a mandolin, was extremely popular in the banjo ensembles which Gibson actively promoted in the 1920s. This 1924 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) style 3 mandolin-banjo features the “trap door” resonator design which would be replaced by the flange-and-resonator construction introduced with Gibson’s new Mastertone line the following year. The “wriggle” peghead shape was unique to style 3 mandolin-banjos of this period.
This mandolin-banjo was used by brothers George, John, and James Walton, who played in bands in southern Arkansas in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
Photos courtesy of the family of George, John, and James Walton.