Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #8204-47, the “Dr. Thomas Tuomey”

This TB-3 dates to 1926 , the second year of Gibson’s “Mastertone” line (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers), and was originally owned by Dr. Thomas Tuomey of Chicago.  Tuomey acquired the banjo while in dental school at Loyola University and it remains in his family.

#8204-47 is a typical early style 3 in every respect with dark-stained maple neck and resonator, a two-piece flange, ball-bearing tone ring assembly, and diamonds and squares inlay with a fiddle-shaped peghead.  #8247-32  dates from a transitional period in which some banjos were being produced with Mastertone blocks at the nineteenth fret of the fingerboard while others still featured the Mastertone logo inlaid in small individual letters on the peghead.

Photos courtesy of the family of Dr. Thomas Tuomey.