The style 1, priced at $50, was a mainstay of Gibson’s lower-priced non-Mastertone line of the 1930s. Style 1 had nickel-plated hardware and a dark-finished maple neck and resonator, with white binding on the neck and both edges of the resonator; the tailpiece was an inexpensive type referred to in Gibson catalogs as the “Grover first model”. Even though the Mastertone models had by this time gone to the double-cut peghead shape, the fiddle-shaped peghead was retained on style 1, with a minor modification–the two small indentations normally found under the fourth- and first-string tuners were absent. The rosewood fingerboard was normally inlaid with a fleur-de-lis inlay pattern which is also known by such varying names as “gulls” and “flying birds”.
#9597-1 is a style 1 tenor dating to 1930(see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers); the longtime owner of this TB-1 was Pennsylvania resident Bob Petrie (July 6, 1908-May 28, 2003). The banjo remains in excellent original condition in its #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.
Photos courtesy of the family of Bob Petrie.