“So that anyone may own a genuine Gibson regular banjo, we have created this fine model for only $27.50”, said the 1937 Gibson catalog of style 00. Introduced circa 1935 and in production through 1942, it was the least expensive banjo Gibson manufactured in the 1930s and early 1940s.
This banjo conforms to standard catalog specifications for style 00, with maple neck and resonator, sunburst finish on the neck and back and sides of the resonator, binding on the back edge of the resonator only, nickel-plated hardware, one-piece pot metal flange, dot inlays in an unbound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, two-tab Grover tuners, and friction fifth-string peg. The peghead shape is unique to style 00, and the Gibson logo is silkscreened in white rather than being inlaid in mother of pearl. The rim is 1/2″ thick, as is the case with most style 00 banjos, and there is no tone ring or brass hoop but only a bead turned in the top of the rim to serve as a bearing for the head.
This banjo remains in excellent original condition with the exception of the tailpiece. While style 00 banjos generally were not marked with factory order numbers, and it was not standard Gibson practice to mark any banjos with a model designation, this example has both the number 2476 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) and “RB-00” faintly written in chalk on the inside of the resonator.
Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.