Gibson’s 1927 banjo catalog assured prospective buyers that the TB-1 was “built from the choicest air-seasoned white northern maple, the finest that grows and fashioned by the same men who make the famous Gibson Mastertone and Custom-Built Banjos”. This example dates to that same year (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) and features typical style 1 appointments for the period including bracket-shoe rim construction, a flange plate with hexagonal holes, straight-grained maple with a uniform dark finish, dot inlays, and a silkscreened “The Gibson” peghead logo. A brass hoop sitting on top of the rim serves as a rudimentary tone ring. Although the 1927 catalog states that “this model is now equipped with the patented Truss-rod in the neck”, this example has no adjustable truss rod.
While style 1 banjos are normally seen with “two-tab” Grover tuners, #8822-92 features Grover “pancakes” of the earliest type with more rounded edges to the gear housing than seen in later examples. The period pickguard is an aftermarket addition.
Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.