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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).
However since this is already a very long entry I have a made a separate one for them.
Epiphone also had a long history of Banjolele manufacture before Gibson took them over so there is another entry for the Epiphone's more historic offerings.
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.
As an example, Gibson made Guitars for the British distributor Francis, Day and Hunter, (FDH), but I have seen people trying to suggest on the back of this that George Houghton made Banjoleles branded by FDH were "possibly made by Gibson" and quadrupling the price, despite the fact they still had the golden lion on them!The dating of vintage Gibson banjos has long been a subject of debate and contention. Rather than true serial numbers, most prewar Gibson banjos were marked with factory order numbers which were solely intended for in-house use during production and assembly; attempts to date Gibson banjos based on these numbers represent a significant challenge Since the debut of this site in 1998 I had listed the banjos in numerical order by factory order number or serial number, which I now understand does not reflect the instruments' true chronology. Martin and Company, Gibson's prewar and wartime numbering system is extremely convoluted and often counterintuitive. created a separate entity called Norlin Industries to run it but mismanagement and a move to Nashville lead to Gibson nearly going out of business in 1986.(The exception to the current lack of production, is Gibson currently own the Epiphone brand and they currently do produce a couple of Ukuleles.
Orville Gibson started making Mandolins with a carved, arched solid wood top and back, (prior to this, Mandolins had a flat solid wood top and a slatted bowl-like back), in 1894. It has been rescued again by its creditors, and with a new management and stripping back to its core business it is once again a going concern.