I just bought a1927 40 hole archtop Gibson banjo. When I took it apart to clean it I saw a number on the tone ring. Did they do this on all the 40 hole rings? The number in the rim is 0146_69. I was up at Don Bryants shop yesterday to get a new low crown head. He said he had never seen this before.
Edited by - thumpic2003 on 12/05/2021 09:46:15
I have two 27s and a 29 and there is nothing stamped in the tone ring.
In 1927 Gibson changed their serial numbers abruptly, going from 8699 to numbers beginning with zero, starting with 0001 (probably)—the first one on the published list is 0041.
I've never seen numbers stamped on the top of the rim like that, but the number 0146 is consistent with 1927.
Ken, according to authorities I have read, Gibson started a second production line for banjos in 1927 due to the high orders they were enjoying. It got the unique FON series. I have one of them, an 0414 Style 5.
I guess the second production line didn't last more than a year or so.
Joe Spann's book lists "1927-1928 Custom Banjo FON Series" and I thought it was for Bella Voces and Florentines however 0170 is a style 3. The font looks right and Gibson would stamp the number in the neck heel, rather than write in pencil, and possibly in the rim and ring. Seems possible it's a custom FON style 3. Maybe Joe Spann will fill in details.
I haven't seen a serial stamped tone ring either, but I don't see a lot of them that are not attached to banjos.
Spann's list of '27 and '28 "0xxx" numbers includes all of the Mastertone models that were in production at the time, including several batches of style 3.
Edited by - rcc56 on 12/05/2021 15:12:17
0146_69 is chalked in the resonator. 0146 is written in pencil at the heel plus 69 is stamped right beside the top lag bolt. That's not all, a 0 is stamped in the ring at the tailpiece end.
I have a 27 no hole ring with the FON stamped in the ring
and penciled at the neck joint, however it's not the same number stamped in the rim and ink stamped on the top surface of the rim
I was always curious about what was going on at Gibson
At that time
TB Granada 0228-35 has tonering stamped 0234.
TB-Florentine 0263-66 has tonering stamped 0257.
Edited by - Oldtwanger on 12/08/2021 08:30:19
Mine is 0329 stamped on the rim
0335 on the ring
Info found here suggests a
'1926 MB-1 Conversion' 20 min
'1960 Gibson RB-100' 36 min
'Woody Banjo Pot Assembly' 38 min