Dating a gibson banjo when to have dating ultrasound
And FDH are famously the only OEM reseller that still had Gibson on all of their Gibson made Guitars!
As well as FDH, Gibson did make some Recording King, Studio King, Carlsen Robinson and other brands for Montgomery Ward, some Washburn and Fascinator brand instruments for Tonk Bros; plus many other small distributors The only OEM Ukuleles that are known to exist though are some SS Stewart ones they made between 19 for Buegeleisen & Jacobson, and whilst they did make OEM Banjos for other there are no records of them making OEM Banjoleles for anyone.
And while on the topic of famous historic names Gibson currently own, there is also Dobro (now used by Epiphone) and Slingerland, (still owned but not currently used), but as they are not being used for any Ukulele branding currently, though they were before Gibson took them over, both of these get their own entries too.
Kramer and Steinberg are two other well known Guitar brands that Gibson own but neither of these have produced any Ukuleles.
Since then there have been some custom shop Ukuleles made, certainly in the 90's, and I guess it would still be an option now if you were willing to pay enough.
Unlike Martin, Gibson did produce a number of Banjoleles over the years, starting in 1924 before they made Ukuleles with the "trapdoor" range.
Gibson Ukuleles come in either Soprano or Tenor scale, (I've never seen a Concert Gibson) and are usually mahogany, (there were a very few spruce top examples made).
They also produced a few special models over the years like the Poinsettia with flowers painted all over the body and a pearloid fretboard or the Florentine with scenes of Venice(!? In 1937 the range was cut back so only the single soundhole ring versions were made but sometime during the 40’s the fretboard length was increased to 13 frets on Sopranos.
This design proved to be more robust that the bowl back Mandolins and was easier to mass produce so in 1898 he patented it and in 1902 incorporated his Gibson Mandolin & Guitar Co. Orville died in 1918 and Lloyd Loar became the chief luthier for the company in his place. Gibson don't currently have Ukuleles in their catalogue but from 1926 through to 1967 they made some of the worlds finest Ukuleles and Banjoleles.These had a flap in the resonator at the rear to vary the sound between open and closed back and a big body for a Banjolele as they were originally based on the Banjo Mandolin but the number of strings was reduced to 4.The neck was still narrow in Banjolin fashion and they were expensive and overcomplicated (a problem with all Gibson Banjos at the time) so in 1925 Gibson started production of the UB1, more purpose designed as a Ukulele banjo with a much smaller and simpler drum and a simple flat back resonator, (that is often lost now).This proved successful straight away so they extended the range in 1926 with the bigger UB2, 3 and 4 models (some say there was the gold plated UB5 too, but from the catalogues it is unclear whether this was supposed to be a extra model number or just the UB4 Deluxe?) The 3 and 4 also got the flanged resonators and an increasing level of decoration.