View Full Version : 1906 letter from GIBSON MANDOLIN & GUITAR MFG CO.

Dec-06-2010, 1:12pm
Our Gibson Scholars will find this of interest....
Not sure if it will yield any new details but looking forward to your comments..
I have no financial Interest ....

http://cgi.ebay.com/1906-letter-cover-GIBSON-MANDOLIN-GUITAR-MFG-CO-/330505102233?pt=Guitar&hash=item4cf3a3a399 (http://cgi.ebay.com/1906-letter-cover-GIBSON-MANDOLIN-GUITAR-MFG-CO-/330505102233?pt=Guitar&hash=item4cf3a3a399)

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2010, 3:59pm
Very interesting glimpse into business practices of the past in our favorite company. I forgot that K'zoo was the celery capital of the world. :)

Ed Goist
Dec-06-2010, 4:09pm
Wouldn't it be cool if that mandolin is still in Thomas Beardsworth's family?
If she's not...I wonder where she is now?

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2010, 4:16pm
Who knows... the letter was returned to sender because it was sent to Staunton, PA instead of VA. Maybe it never got to him nor did the mandolin, possibly.

However, it does sound as if Mr. Beardsworth was pretty respected in the music community of Staunton, VA:

Ada's husband, Professor Thomas Beardsworth, (1877-1947) was an Englishman who grew up in Buena Vista, Virginia, and became the music director at Staunton Military Academy (1908-1941). He also was employed by Mary Baldwin Seminary, Staunton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. He was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and was well known around the country for his music. He had three brothers, William H. Beardsworth, Richard Beardsworth, John Beardsworth and two sisters, Lavinia Proctor and Matilda "Tillie" Topping.

Beardsworth link at UVA (http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaead/published/uva-sc/viu04026.bioghist)

John Kasley
Dec-06-2010, 4:23pm
I believe the articles enclosed were published in Gibson's "Sounding Board Salesman" newsletter distributed to their teacher-agents.

Example of it here: http://www.mandolinarchive.com/documents/1920_sounding_board_salesman/cover.html

Dec-06-2010, 4:23pm
Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to......

Nothing to get hung about.


dan in va
Dec-06-2010, 7:53pm
Interesting post. There weren't many English that settled the Shenandoah Valley, but the foreigners were encouraged to settle west of the Blue Ridge as a buffer to the native Americans. They were primarily German, Scot and Irish (the founder of Staunton fled Ireland after he "slew the Irish Lord", and his wife's family was close to gov. Gooch). Buena Vista isn't said in the Spanish way and is a beautiful place against the Blue Ridge mountains about 30 miles to the south. Also, Staunton is pronounced locally ignoring the "u".

There must have been some old Gibson instruments sold in Staunton, as a music store owner/collector in nearby Harrisonburg has acquired some nice pieces from Staunton. Most notably a near mint Gibson natural top harp guitar from that period. The HG was unsold and bought from the store owner's descendents...a lovely piece.

If you're ever in the Harrisonburg area that store has an amazing colletion that is partly on display. He may have the most extensive ukulele collection...period. There are many sizes of the trapdoor family, two mandobasses, and the list goes on. But don't get your hopes up to buy anything though.

Ivan Kelsall
Dec-07-2010, 12:45am
Thanks for posting this. I found it very interesting,especially the mention of a 'leather' case. I wonder if that was a 'specially' made case for Mr.Beardsworth,or were the cases generally made of leather. Either that,or the term leather was used in a loose way to denote a 'leatherette' covering on the case ?. I like my celery with the centre filled with a good cream cheese,delicious !,

Dec-07-2010, 10:54am
Love the sales pitch letter to Gibson agents...:)

Jim Garber
Dec-07-2010, 11:01am
I found it very interesting,especially the mention of a 'leather' case. I wonder if that was a 'specially' made case for Mr.Beardsworth,or were the cases generally made of leather.

I think it was leather. Better cases were end opening leather ones even for non-bowlbacks. I think my old 3 point F2 had a case like that.

Dec-07-2010, 11:14am
I've got another one from almost the same date, also to Thomas Beardsworth. I love the old logo, stationary, and the "celery capital of the world" bit!

The leather case was the most common type in the early days. I've had a few, but they have all been mostly held together through force of habit.

I don't have all those little individual ads though, fun to see them

Ivan Kelsall
Dec-09-2010, 2:08am
Jim - I had an end-opening leather case with an old Banjo in it pass thro.my hands years back. The Banjo was in for a re-build & a new skin.The case being on the 'outside', was in a much worse state than the Banjo - held together by faith & not much else,