Gibson TB-0 #8067-15, the “Elmer Barbeau”

This unusual tenor banjo was made by Gibson early in 1925 just as the transition was being made from the earlier “trap-door” design to the modern flange and resonator construction.  #8067-15 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) features a trapdoor resonator but an 8000-series factory order number and a label reading “Gibson Inc. / Kalamazoo Mich.” rather than the earlier “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company” label generally seen on trap-door banjos and even on a few early examples with flange and resonator.  The peghead is the type used on the bottom-of-the-line style 0, the “Nick Lucas” fingerboard inlays are typical of style 2, and the sunburst trap-door resonator with purfling is the type used on the early style 4 banjos.  This rare transitional banjo was formerly owned by Elmer Barbeau (1899-1971) of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois.

Photos courtesy of Susan Nolan.