Gibson TB-1 #749-7

The style 1 of the 1930s was a non-Mastertone model and therefore had no true tone ring–only a small-diameter brass hoop on top of the rim.  It did, however, feature the same pot metal one-piece flange and three-ply maple rim as the Mastertones of the same period.  The wood specified by Gibson for the style 1 was “carefully seasoned white maple finished in rich dark mahogany”, but this example features a neck and resonator made of walnut.  #749-7 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) was shipped to musical wholesaler Davitt and Hanser of Cincinnati, Ohio on August 31, 1936.  Lot #749  is known to include at least one other walnut TB-1 as well as at least one RB-2; this odd mixture can possibly be attributed to the fact that style 2, on which walnut was standard, was being discontinued around this time.  The only later known lot to contain any style 2 banjos is #824, which consisted of TB-2s with forty-hole archtop tone rings.

Photos courtesy of Dax Carter.