One of Gibson’s earliest banjo designs has become known to collectors and players as the “trap door”, after the hinged back that could be opened for greater volume. From the beginning of its banjo line in 1918, Gibson promoted “banjo orchestras” featuring a full line of banjo-family instruments, following the model of the company’s highly-successful “mandolin orchestra” campaign. The banjo family as conceived by Gibson included the UB or ukulele banjo, with a banjo body but tuned and played like a ukulele. The Gibson UB line would later expand to several different models, but at the time this example was produced circa 1924 there was only one model, known simply as the “UB”. This UB is in fully original condition with the exception of a replaced tailpiece screw. The “snakehead” peghead design and “rainbow”-tinted “The Gibson” peghead logo were frequently seen on Gibson instruments from this period.
Photos courtesy of Robert Rolinson.