Gibson TB-00 #EG-5712

Style 00, introduced in 1935 with a list price of $30, made the Gibson name accessible to Depression-era banjoists.  Its affordability made it a top seller in Gibson’s banjo line and it remained in production through the early 1940s.  This example conforms to standard catalog specifications for style 00 with maple neck and resonator, sunburst finish on the neck and back and sides of the resonator, binding on the back edge of the resonator only, nickel-plated hardware, one-piece pot metal flange, grooved tension hoop with flat hooks, and dot inlays in an unbound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.  The peghead shape is unique to style 00, and the Gibson logo is silkscreened in white rather than being inlaid in mother of pearl.  The rim is 1/2″ thick below the flange, as is the case with most style 00 banjos, and there is no tone ring or brass hoop but only a bead turned in the top of the rim to serve as a bearing for the head.  The presence of Kluson tuners with amber Catalin buttons identifies this TB-00 as a later example, as does the serial number stamped on the back of the peghead; the letter prefix “E” denotes a production date of 1939 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers).  Gibson’s shipping ledgers show that #EG-5712 was shipped to “Music Shop, Inc.” (location unknown) on January 2, 1940, making it the first Gibson banjo shipped that year.