Gibson’s 1930 catalog touted the TB-1 as “(t)he maximum in practical values with plain beauty, rather than ornamentation.” Style 1 made the transition from the earlier “bracket-shoe” design to the one-piece flange in 1929, with lot #9464 being the first batch of style 1 banjos in the new design (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers.) The old”The Gibson” silkscreened peghead logo has been replaced by a “Gibson” logo in mother-of-pearl; the dark-finished maple resonator is now bound on both edges rather than on the back edge only; the peghead has changed to a slightly modified version of the fiddle shape used on two-piece-flange Mastertone banjos, and the inlay pattern has been changed from the simple dots on earlier style 1 banjos to a fleur-de-lis pattern. While many of the earliest one-piece-flange Gibson banjos show deterioration of the pot metal tension hoop and flange, the hardware on #9464-31 remains in good condition.
This banjo has been converted to five-string with the addition of a faithful reproduction five-string neck by owner Bill Moore and a flathead tone ring by Steve Huber.
Photos courtesy of Bill Moore.