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 the following year (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers); for the most part, the banjo features typical style 1 appointments for the period including bracket-shoe rim construction, a flange plate with hexagonal holes, a straight-grained maple resonator with a uniform dark finish, and dot inlays. Rather than the fine script “The Gibson” logo silk-screened in silver paint that would normally be seen on this model, however, this example features a bolder white silk-screened logo reading simply “Gibson” as used on the style 00 banjo of the 1930s. This anomaly is no doubt explained by an entry in Gibson’s shipping ledger for 20 January 1936 showing that this banjo had been repaired and was being shipped back to a Dwight Haislup; the repair likely involved a replacement neck and by 1936 the earlier style silver logo was not in use on any current model.
#9078-31 was returned to Dwight Haislup in a #511 Geib and Schaefer case, but its current case is a later replacement. Mr. Haislup (26 July 1917–22 March 2000) was a resident of Columbus, Indiana and the banjo’s “AMRAWCO” (American Rawhide Company) calfskin head is imprinted with the logo of Hinkle Music House in Columbus.
Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.