Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #42-18, the “Aloysius Schreibmaier”

Style 3 was the least expensive model in Gibson’s Mastertone line.   It was introduced in 1925 and remained in production through 1937, when its price was lowered from $100 to $75 and it was renamed style 75.  The changeover from style 3 to style 75 was still some time away when this fine example was made.  It is a typical mid-1930s TB-3 in every respect, with mahogany neck, mahogany resonator with white binding on both edges and two concentric circles of black and white purfling on the back, a one-piece flange, forty-hole archtop tone ring, Presto tailpiece, Grover tuners, and a double-cut peghead and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard inlaid with the leaves and bows pattern.

#42-18 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers)  was owned for many years by Aloysius Schreibmaier (May 26, 1913–April 14, 2006) of northeastern Pennsylvania.  Mr. Schreibmaier sang and played a number of instruments including tenor banjo, guitar, piano, organ, harmonica, and ukulele, and bought this banjo from another local musician, Elwood Arnold.  I acquired the instrument from Mr. Schreibmaier’s family in July 2007.