From 1926 all “Mastertone” banjos were fitted with the normal type tone ring but during the period 1932 to 1935 the company also marketed a banjo without any tone ring and it is this instrument, using the full diameter of the 11” vellum, that finds great favour with present day American “Folk” banjoists.
When America entered WWII in 1942 the making of banjos ceased because of the government’s limitations on the amount of metal allowed in any one musical instrument. The company was able to make mandolins and guitars and the factory also made aircraft components.
In 1944 the Gibson name and plant was acquired by the Chicago Music Instrument Company of Chicago and in 1948 they started to make “Gibson” banjos and by the 1960’s were selling four models of tenor, plectrum and 5 string banjos incorporating the best features of the pre war instruments.
Pictures courtesy of Smakulas Fretted Instruments