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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: About a Gibson Trapdoor 17-fret tenor banjo.

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

CGDA - Posted - 05/15/2020:  09:49:52

Hi gents,
Could anybody date my Gibson Trapdoor tenor, 17-fret, serial number 11786-25?
Thank you for helping!

Culloden - Posted - 05/15/2020:  10:39:32

Going by Greg Earnest's web site I would say 1924. There is another banjo on there from the same batch.
For some reason I can't get banjophiles to work.

rcc56 - Posted - 05/15/2020:  10:55:54

Spann's Guide to Gibson places that number in 1923.
The banjophiles website is down.

Eric A - Posted - 05/15/2020:  11:57:12

Works for me.


rcc56 - Posted - 05/15/2020:  12:34:19

I just got through when I used Eric's link, then tried it on my search bar and couldn't get through. Then I thought a minute, and prefaced my search with www. and got through.

Windows just updated my browser, and has once again managed to make things more difficult rather than less.  Searching favorites now takes more clicks and strokes than it did a month ago.   One more reason to get off the durn computer and go back to my work bench.

It doesn't matter much in this case.  The banjophiles data base doesn't  cover the 11xxx series factory order numbers.

Edited by - rcc56 on 05/15/2020 12:44:43

Ag_econ_man - Posted - 05/15/2020:  18:03:26

I believe a Trapdoor in the 11600 serial range would be around 1923 at least going by one depicted in an ad from Smakula, so 1923-1924 for yours seems to make sense.

I have a TB (missing the trap door -- seems like it never had one) in the 11350 serial range that has the plain snakehead headstock. Bob, can you date that with Spann's guide?

rcc56 - Posted - 05/15/2020:  18:15:46

11350 would be the very end of 1920.
If there is not at least one screw hole in the back of the rim, it probably never had a trap door.

Ag_econ_man - Posted - 05/15/2020:  18:23:07


Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

Mine has no screw holes on the edge of the rim so I figure it never had the trap door.

Ag_econ_man - Posted - 05/15/2020:  18:31:19

But now that I take off my glasses and look more carefully at the serial number, I see it's 11500 range, and not 11300, so maybe this is around 1921-22?

(Time for some new glasses when optometrists are open for appointments again).

rcc56 - Posted - 05/15/2020:  20:34:26

Yes, late '21 or 1922.
I need my hair cut and my teeth cleaned.

CGDA - Posted - 05/17/2020:  06:49:18

Thank you everybody for your kind answers!


Tom Bzk - Posted - 05/17/2020:  07:19:44

Marco, did you ever find strings that sounded good with it? I know a couple years ago you were inquiring.
Enjoy all your videos.

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