Gibson TB-1 #133-22, the “Roy Francis Gorman”

#133-22 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) was shipped on December 15, 1937 to Deland’s Music Shop in Greenfield, Massachusetts.  Its longtime owner was Roy Francis Gorman, born March 1914 in Gorham, Maine; Mr. Gorman was an employee of the Boston and Maine Railroad and passed away in September 2002.  #133-22 is in most respects a standard TB-1 from the late 1930s, with the model’s earlier fleur-de-lis fingerboard inlay having been replaced by a simple dot pattern.  The wood is straight-grain maple with a dark finish and the peghead shape is a slight modification of the fiddle-shaped design of the 1920s.  The hardware is nickel-plated, the flange is one-piece, and a small-diameter brass hoop, rather than a full-weight cast tone ring, sits on top of the rim.  Rather than the typical Grover “window” or “first model” tailpiece, however this example is equipped with a high-end, engraved “two-hump” Grover tailpiece of the type normally seen only on Gibson’s top-of-the-line Bella Voce and Florentine models of the late 1920s; other banjos from this lot have been observed with the same tailpiece.