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Doug Sometimes we assume in today's time that nobody tinkered with a banjo back in the 30's like we do today.I got started playing the banjo by my granfather who played in the old vaudeville days.My style 75 had the number in the tenor neck peghead but nothing in the rim it is E8096 no label or nothing if the tenor neck got lost it would be hard to document it.I took a felt marker and wrote the serial number really small on the underside of one of the "L" brackets but that wouldn't stand up for some people. My T-T has a Mastertone sticker in the position on the rim, but has a serial number on the back of the peghead, only.Of course, you wouldn't be able to see that unless the neck was removed. does have a number but I think you are correct that it has no label. The Prewar Gibson Banjo web site: guess it is Greg but I thought Matt told me that it didn't have a SN.I believe it was Matt Rogers that had a gentleman bring in a completely original style 75 (the banjo had a TT style 18 neck and reso, but a 1-piece flange) into his shop that had neither a SN or a Mastertone label. The Prewar Gibson Banjo web site: posted by Greg Earnest Lynwood. The only way Matt knew that it was legit (other than that obvious "look") was the fact that the gentleman had the original sales receipt.Grifton NC Don't know if you were thinking only of Mastertones, but two non-Mastertone models of the 1930s that rarely had numbers were style 00 and style 11.
In the early 50's (I was just a little one @ 8) my grandfather had a room full of banjos and was always taking banjos apart and putting them together. My point is we don't really know what anybody did back then.He passed away in the late 50's and at the time I had no interest in tinkering with banjos. I bet you the neck was refinished 10 times during it's playing life.What a shame A good example is I have his original pride and joy banjo that he used all the time. If today someone found that banjo they would call the banjo an original floor sweep.tells me he has seen the neck and you can not tell it from an original. I always figured that the resonator numbers were painted over with the blue paint..this has nothing to do with the subject, but will make a person wonder what he is buying, when something odd turns up. and that the serial number in the shell was not stamped because the banjo was a cheapo.they made a bunch of them real fast.jimbo Hi Mom!
Even the experts can be fooled, because there are some really good old fakes out there and there are often authentic anomalies, the classic "floor-sweep" models, etc.