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NMM 7416.  Mandolin-banjo by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, ca. 1924.
Style MB-3.  Serial number 8544-14. Gift of Clay H. Johnson, Jr., O'Neill, Nebraska, 1999.

NMM 7416.  Mandolin-banjo by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, ca. 1924.

The Gibson mandolin-banjo provided a strong soprano voice in the popular banjo orchestras of the 1920s, combining the construction of a banjo with the penetrating, steel, double stringing of the mandolin. Taking over from the pre-WWI mandolin orchestra craze, the "modern" banjo orchestras also featured new instruments, such as the metal-strung tenor and plectrum banjos, which filled out the mid and lower ranges of the orchestra. Conveniently, the mandolin-banjo allowed mandolin players to perform in the fashionable banjo orchestras without re-learning their technique.

This mandolin-banjo is currently on loan for the NMM-designed exhibition, "Ya Gotta Know the Territory:  The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson," at the Meredith Willson Museum, Mason City, Iowa.

Return to Gibson Banjo Checklist

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