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Gretsch-made Bacons -- Serial Numbers

Posted by BrittDLD1 on Friday, April 24, 2009

The BHO Topic, called -- "B&D Seville" drifted into a discussion of
Gretsch-made Bacon serial numbers -- particlarly with B&D
Database Guy, Polle Flaunoe:

http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...&whichpage=2

So, I decided to start a NEW TOPIC to cover the subject in more
depth:

http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=146289

Below is my initial posting (with some minor edits) -- summarizing
Bacon serial-range information, which I've studied and gathered,
for almost 30 years:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So far... we've broken-out Bacon's  POSSIBLE Serial Range
CATEGORIES to:

... 1. Groton-made Bacons -- c1920 to Sept 1922 (PRE-Day Period):
. . . . . . Approx. Serial Range:  #5000 to #7500 
. . . . . . . . o.  Serial on DOWEL ONLY

. . . . . . Earliest banjos assembled at Bacon's offices, in New London, CT
. . . . . . -- while the Groton Works was purchased and set-up, in early 1921.
. . . . . . (c1905 to 1920 Bacons will be set aside for now...)


... 2. Groton-made Bacons -- Sept 1922 to Jan 1940 (Day Period):
. . . . . . Approx. Serial Range:  #7500 to #36000
. . . . . . . . o.  MATCHING serials on dowel AND rim
. . . . . . . . o.  "Made by the Bacon Co. ... Groton, Conn..." stamp on dowel

NOTE:
Hurricane-to-Bankruptcy -- Sept 1938 to Jan 1940.
. . . o. Gretsch buys all rights and remnants of Bacon Co. Inc.
. . . o. David Day retires.



... 3. GRETSCH-made Bacons -- Jan 1940 to c1965
. . . . . . CHANGE -- Start NEW serial sequence
. . . . . . Approx. Serial Range:  #1 to #84000
. . . . . . . . o.  Serials marked on DOWEL ONLY (NOT on rim)
. . . . . . . . o.  NO "Maker's Stamp" on dowel
. . . . . . . . o.  Very FEW banjos made during WWII


... 4. GRETSCH-made Bacons -- c1965 ?? -- "Gretch Product"
. . . . . ."Currently Known" Serial Range:  #40297 to #40332
. . . . . . Possibly a "prototype" set -- related to Baldwin purchase?
. . . . . . CHANGE:
. . . . . . . . A. Start NEW serial sequence??
. . . . . . . . B. CONTINUE existing serial sequence?

. . . . . . . . o. NEW stamping format:
. . . . . . . . . . . . o. MATCHING serials on dowel AND rim.
. . . . . . . . . . . . o."Gretsch Product" stamp on dowel



... 5. GRETSCH-made Bacons -- c1965 (??) to 1970
. . . . . . BALDWIN buys Gretsch -- still in Brooklyn, NY)
. . . . . . CHANGE to CODED serial format:

. . . . . . . . . [size=5]"USA"[/size=5] + mmynnnn

. . . . . . . . . Or "mynn" -- "mynnn"  -- etc.
. . . . . . . . . . . . Depending on month, and production number.

. . . . . . . . . Where the digits represent:
. . . . . . . . . . . . m -- month
. . . . . . . . . . . . y -- year
. . . . . . . . . . . . n -- production number


[b]1970  to 1980:[/b]

In 1970, Baldwin moved ALL Gretsch production to Arkansas --
and the Bacon Banjo line was finally DISCONTINUED.

(Bacon banjos were still cataloged, and priced, until 1972.)

At that point, the Baldwin-ODE banjos became company's  line.
The Gretsch Division was placed in charge of producing the
Baldwin-ODEs -- which they did, until Baldwin's bankruptcy,
in 1980.


Best-
Ed Britt

1 comment on “Gretsch-made Bacons -- Serial Numbers”

Banjo J Says:
Friday, April 24, 2009 @9:34:58 PM

Ed you seem to have alot of knowledge about these banjos, I have a bacon belmont that has a  pearl looking rim and headstock it is #3559 on the dowel would you have any idea on the age of this old open back it was passed on to me by my grandpaw.

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