#9385-42 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates from 1929 and conforms to standard catalog specifications for a style 3 tenor banjo of the period; later that year, style 3 would change from maple with a two-piece flange to mahogany with a one-piece flange. The peghead shape would also change from the fiddle shape seen here to the new “double-cut” shape, and the “leaves and bows” inlay pattern would replace the “diamonds and squares” seen on #9385-42.
Longtime owner Dean K. Peterson put his name on the peghead of this banjo just under the logo, in the position occupied by the individual “Mastertone” letters on Mastertone banjos from 1925 and 1926. Mr. Peterson is reported to have bought #9385-42 from its original owner in southern Ohio after having returned home from service in World War II. The factory original #400 head guard was available as an aftermarket option from Gibson for three dollars.
#9385-42 has now been converted to five-string with a faithful reproduction neck by Wyatt Fawley.
Photos courtesy of Chris Collier.