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Steve Ostrander
Feb-24-2011, 10:48am
Just curious--Does anybody know if Lloyd Loar ever rejected and refused to sign any F5s? If so, I'm assuming they would have been destroyed?

Glassweb
Feb-24-2011, 11:05am
I'll give him a call and ask him...

Mike Black
Feb-24-2011, 11:12am
Here, this might help. :)

http://www.ouijaboarddangers.info/uploads/ouija.jpg

Steve Ostrander
Feb-24-2011, 11:24am
OK, I get that we can't ask him, I was wondering if there were any legends or rumours to the effect...never mind.

Capt. E
Feb-24-2011, 11:59am
Aren't there some "unsigned" Loars out there? I have heard reference to them in the past. Maybe they are just referring to models other than F5's produced in the Loar Era.

EdHanrahan
Feb-24-2011, 12:17pm
Just a little off topic, and probably discussed here in the deep dark past:
DO see the '98 movie "The Red Violin" - starts off with what happens to the rejects!

It was recommended way back by folks in a music shop. From what I gather, people tend to love it or hate it, w/ musicians strongly on the "love" side. Hadn't seen it in 10 years, but watched it twice in the last 2 weeks; more clues each time. NFI.

CES
Feb-24-2011, 12:18pm
Capt. E,

The "unsigned Loars" are mandolins that were in production and built under Loar's supervision, but not yet complete/inspected before he left.

I would be willing to bet that there were a couple of mandolins floating around that may not have made the grade that were taken home by workers instead of to the dumpster, but don't know of any myths/legends...whether they would have been any good or not is another issue entirely. I once worked in a food processing plant, and there were occasionally runs of mustard, mayo, etc, that were perfectly good product but had labelling issues. They were typically just sent home with employees...obviously very different scales of economy from a jar of mayo to a mandolin, but unsellable product is unsellable product...

D. Roberts
Feb-24-2011, 12:18pm
Steve,
I would think that Loar did reject some mandolins but I doubt they would have ever cut anything up.
When I was over mandolin production If a mandolin did not meet our standards it would be sent back to production for re-work.
I can recall three master models that didn't sound like they should that I sent back and had them re-graduated.
One we took the back off and did the work the other two were done from the outside, in the end they made it through with flying colors.

Capt. E
Feb-24-2011, 12:23pm
Capt. E,

The "unsigned Loars" are mandolins that were in production and built under Loar's supervision, but not yet complete/inspected before he left.

I have a friend who owns one of these, first batch sent out after Loar left the company.

f5loar
Feb-24-2011, 12:30pm
And I suspect that's the way it was back then. Loar likely walked around and may have headed off any potential problems before it got to the finishing stage. And he likely sent back those that were not up to snuff. Not to stir any controversy on this subject but there is a well known person in the midwest that has documeted and photographed several dozen Loar era F5 "seconds" They were not signed during the '22,23 & '24 era. For some reason he was the only person to run across these mythical examples. No other vintage dealer has found any to date. While I have not seen this documetation nor do I know of anyone who has other then this one person TMK it has not been made public since it was disclosed about 10 years ago.

Big Joe
Feb-25-2011, 7:55am
First remember that the Loar mandolins were a production mandolin. There was likely an inspection at various points of the build, and if something was amiss it would have been addressed at that time. If it made it through the process it would likely have been sent back to correct any issues before it would have gotten the Loar label. Just as Danny described above, they were in the process of building a product and that was most important.

There may have been some parts or mandolins in various stages of completion that were pulled out for some reason that may have been set aside and not used or reworked for some time. Occasionally we will see a mandolin from a later era that appears to have many things or some things very Loarish and these parts may have been used at a later date to fill an order. I recently saw a later mandolin that has many things more like the Loar era than the Fern era, but it would not be unusual to use a part when you needed one that was from a prior period.

The inspection and signature label are to ensure the instrument was structurally sound, fit and finish acceptable, and finally the tone within the range expected. If it did not meet these criteria the label would not be applied and the instrument would not have left the shop in any normal means.

mtucker
Feb-25-2011, 8:43am
If it made it through the process it would likely have been sent back to correct any issues before it would have gotten the Loar label. If it did not meet these criteria the label would not be applied and the instrument would not have left the shop in any normal means.

With all due respect...not to nitpick, but wouldn't the label have been affixed to the back before it went on the mandolin rather than after final inspection?

MikeEdgerton
Feb-25-2011, 9:26am
The labels were applied through the f holes. Otherwise there would be no way that he could have put the date of inspection on the label.

EdHanrahan
Feb-25-2011, 10:52am
The labels were applied through the f holes.
Just as shown in (not tryin' to be real repetitious, but) "The Red Violin"!

Chuck Naill
Feb-25-2011, 2:29pm
Then it is possible that there was some signed labels laying around that could have been put into a reject or a post Loar era mandolin.

f5loar
Feb-25-2011, 2:57pm
I doubt that.. In fact it appears ole Lloyd stuffed his pockets with the remaining labels as he cleaned out his desk after being "let go" from his duties at Gibson that cold day in late December of 1924. Gibson never used another signed dated label until 1971 and they were slightly different.

G. Fisher
Feb-25-2011, 3:48pm
f5loar any hints as to who the well known person with the info on the "seconds"?

Do you think it's possible that this info is correct?

f5loar
Feb-25-2011, 6:02pm
He is a member of the cafe and use to post a lot. He posted his findings here on the cafe and they should be in the search feature if you want to go through 1000's of Loar posting. I'm thinking it was around 2005. I've not seen any lately. I have no idea how correct his information is concerning Loar seconds but would love the opportunity to see his comprehensive files on them. I do know he did not refer to the unsigned Loars that appeared shortly after Loar left the building with all those labels. He had serial nos. for the Loar years. Some suspected he refered to Loars that the signature label fell out due to poor quality glue. There has only been 2 or 3 reported this way and their serial nos. fall in line with serial nos. around them. And you could see the glue residue where it had fallen out. Ronnie Reno's famous '23 Loar had no signature label when his Dad got it for him back in the mid 60's.

Chuck Naill
Feb-25-2011, 7:52pm
I doubt that.. In fact it appears ole Lloyd stuffed his pockets with the remaining labels as he cleaned out his desk after being "let go" from his duties at Gibson that cold day in late December of 1924. Gibson never used another signed dated label until 1971 and they were slightly different.

It may be doubtful, but it cannot be proven. Heck, somebody could have copied the labels or had them made by the same printer Gibson used. That brown ribbon Martin used in D-18 contruction was bought locally at a sewing supply store.

f5loar
Feb-25-2011, 9:21pm
Have you seen a Gibson pre war label signed by anyone other than Lloyd Loar? I rest my case! (mandolin case that is).

Chuck Naill
Feb-25-2011, 11:08pm
Have you seen a Gibson pre war label signed by anyone other than Lloyd Loar? I rest my case! (mandolin case that is).

Yes. I have seen just about every forgery imaginable. It's just part of the business and shows up a lot at guitar shows. To suggest it has not happened with just this one Gibson era model is because your just decided so and not because it could not happen. I am not saying it did or did not, but the possibility is not unimaginable.

MikeEdgerton
Feb-25-2011, 11:10pm
I don't think anyone at Gibson saw any real value in signed Loar instruments immediately after he left. I seriously doubt that the factory would have added a signed label to anything in his aftermath.

Big Joe
Feb-25-2011, 11:36pm
The Loar mandolins were a sad era for Gibson in a business sense. The mandolins were overpriced and no market for them, at least not enough to warrant production of an instrument that was that high priced (250.00). That was a LOT of money at that time, and in only a few short years the depression reduced the demand to about zero. While Loar oversaw the building of a great instrument, it was so radically different from anything else produced and the market had not been adequately developed. Had this mandolin come out before WWI there may well have been a better market and demand, but unfortunately, by the time he began signing mandolins they were becoming dead merchandise and the demand decreasing quite rapidly.

The banjo was becoming a far more popular instrument and ultimately the guitar. Before this time the guitar were very small bodied instruments destined to parlors because they could not cut through an ensemble setting. With the introduction of the L5 (another Loar instrument) and the jumbo flatops that became popular in the late 20's and 30's the banjo and mandolin were destined to obscurity. Until bluegrass became a genre accepted by a large enough market no one wanted a mandolin. Even thirty years ago mandolins were a very small segment of the instrument market destined to extinction.

Likely due to a public becoming bored with just being guitarists the market for a second instrument began to increase. The mandolin began to be discovered again, and really for the first time the F5 style mandolin was gaining in market share. It became the standard for so many. The mandolin is an addictive instrument but most come to it from another instrument. As our incomes and time available have increased the market has also increased. Most of us who play mandolin also play other instruments and have our guitars and/ or banjos, or in some cases cowbells :) .

In the day Loar was building no one cared if their instrument was signed by him or not. It was not an issue with the players of the day, and most had no idea who he was or what he did. Remember there was not the media we have today so fame was much harder to obtain. To the public and musicians of that day it was just a mandolin. Even Monroe did not go looking for "the mandolin" by Loar, he just happened to find a used mandolin in a barber shop in Florida and liked it. It just happened to be Gibson F5 from July 9, 1923 and I doubt he cared who signed the label, or even had a clue who Loar was. At least that was his recollection when we discussed this about 93 or so.

There would have been no increased value to an instrument signed by Loar or not signed by him or even if it had a signature label. Part of the history of Gibson even to this day is that it was about the company and not any person in the company. Part of what may have led to Loar's leaving Gibson was that he was becoming too well known and the company did not want anyone in particular to be more significant than the company itself. That easily explains why no one signed the labels for decades after that. Even in more recent years luthiers of that calibre have not seemed to last terribly long whether they promoted themselves or others just gravitated to them.

Gibson was just a production facility and as such did and still only wants the company to gain its popularity. No person is as important as the company itself and that was made clear several times. All these issues together are part of the picture of the era and why it really did not matter to anyone then if the labels were signed by Loar or if they had not lablels. Gibson often removed the original labels and replaced them if the instrument was sent back for work later. Loar was just a production supervisor in the mind of Gibson corporate management in those days just the same as that was how Charlie was viewed in his tenure as the GM of Gibson Bluegrass.

Bill Baldock
Feb-25-2011, 11:52pm
That's why they call him "BIG" Joe. Kudos my friend.

sgarrity
Feb-25-2011, 11:59pm
............Not to stir any controversy on this subject but there is a well known person in the midwest that has documeted and photographed several dozen Loar era F5 "seconds" They were not signed during the '22,23 & '24 era. For some reason he was the only person to run across these mythical examples. No other vintage dealer has found any to date. While I have not seen this documetation nor do I know of anyone who has other then this one person TMK it has not been made public since it was disclosed about 10 years ago.

If only one person has compiled and seen the info.........I'd call it bunk until there was some serious proof.

jim simpson
Feb-26-2011, 12:00am
Joe, thank you. As a former Gibson employee, your views are especially informed by your experience within the company and respected. I find it interesting that Loar's legacy is similar to artists in other media, such as painters who where impoverished in their own time but revered after their death. I guess the perspective of time/history allows us to reflect on the quality of a limited production of a true artist.

billkilpatrick
Feb-26-2011, 1:29am
relaxed and paying attention - great thread!

mtucker
Feb-26-2011, 10:28am
The labels were applied through the f holes. Otherwise there would be no way that he could have put the date of inspection on the label.
Thanks for clarifying, Mike. That must have been fun doing it that way...;)

Bernie Daniel
Feb-26-2011, 10:41am
Thanks for clarifying, Mike. That must have been fun doing it that way...;)


Which I believe is why many of them never stayed put and were lost to time? :)

Is any one in the position of being able to post images of the Loar-signed label and a later Derringer or Roberts signed mandolin labels?

What I'm getting at is did the the template for these signature labels change over the years?

MikeEdgerton
Feb-26-2011, 11:11am
They are still done that way.

Bernie Daniel
Feb-26-2011, 4:18pm
Agreed. What I meat was I was looking or a good photo of one -- I have an F-5 that somehow lost its signature label -- the other label with the SN is loose also -- I was thinking of making a new signature label and gluing both in securely.

Ken Waltham
Feb-26-2011, 4:43pm
I very rarely get involved in discussions such as this one, but, in this case I am going to put in my two cents worth.
There simply are no unsigned Loars that were made during Lloyd's tenure at Gibson. Don't confuse this statement with the ones that were left unsigned because of his Dec 1924 departure, ones that were in progress at the time he left.
As previously stated, we had a factory production model going on here, and, anything that needed to be "tweaked" would have had that work done while the Style 5 instrument was in the production process. I believe these would be simple things, like a finish blemish, or perhaps a piece of wood with a spot or something on it that had not been noticed beforehand. Nothing major. After all, we had old world violin craftsmen types working there, many who would have apprenticed from a young age, and they knew what was going on. And then, there is the Quality Assurance side of things. Why would you possibly let an expensive instrument to get so far down the line, to the point of being finished, and then say " it's not good enough" ?
It never happened. And, it's easy to avoid.
There was a good deal of machine work done in the manufacture of these instruments, and once they had the process down, it was pretty simple, I think.
The Loars are very consistent, in fact, much more so than the new Gibsons. I have never seen or felt a Loar F5 with a funky neck, weird scroll, or funny looking peghead, but, I sure have seen that on modern Gibsons. Perhaps increased "hand work"... I'm not sure, but, suspect that.
As for someone "cataloging" non signed Loars, I can only guess that somebody wants to be noticed, or self important, because by now, all manner of people would have seen, or have been aware of such a prewar F5. Especially if there are many, as implied. I have to say I believe it to be complete bunk.
There is one thing that I have often wondered, however, and I think it has more credence than the previous question.
The question is... Once they had the style 5 down, they nailed it consistently. But, how did they get it right? It's a radical departure from the Style 4, so, what about the "proto types"? I don't mean the June 1922 Loar, but, ones before it. There must have been 3 or 4 or 6 before they got the graduations set correctly, and how do you learn where to put the tone bars? No one had done that before.
Those early, protoypical F5's must have been destroyed, do you think???
BTW, I seriously believe the Fern F5 from the first Loar catalog exists, and is out there.68975

MikeEdgerton
Feb-26-2011, 4:52pm
It's not impossible that the first F5 was the prototype and they got it right the first time and it went out the door. I seriously doubt there was a prototype A5.

Glassweb
Feb-26-2011, 5:22pm
Great posts from Ken and Big Joseph! Thanks guys!

Big Joe
Feb-26-2011, 7:57pm
When one talks about Gibson and prototypes all rules are off. The prototypes may have been acceptable and actually used in production. They may have been destroyed. They may have just "disappeared" out the back door as so many have over the long history of Gibson. I don't know that we will ever really know. They may well have been held in the factory and the parts used later with other models. It is interesting speculation and I had never considered it. That is one of the few things we never talked about with Charlie. I doubt it crossed his mind either. They certainly would not have been released as unsigned Loars. That does not seem feasible at all.

There are so many things over the decades that don't seem to fit any place in the entire Gibson line. My best guess is that if there were any that were not released in Loar's era, the parts were used later. This may help explain why some of the later instruments have so many of the Loar elements present but not enough to be a "real" Loar. I saw one recently that I would bet anything the body was a Loar body, but was on a later mandolin with a fern headstock and the whole mandolin was lacquer. Lots of things about it that certainly represented the Loar era more than the later 20's though. Could it have been a prototype? Who knows. Could it have been a body that had been built but no neck attached and not released till much later? Who knows. The one sure thing about Gibson in its history is that nothing is for sure :) . This is part of what makes Gibson so fascinating. Its history and all the element therein are quite amazing.

BradKlein
Feb-26-2011, 8:30pm
There must have been 3 or 4 or 6 before they got the graduations set correctly, and how do you learn where to put the tone bars? No one had done that before.

Great posts from Mr. Waltham and Joe Vest. (One comment. It's worth remembering that Albert Shutt, had placed a pair of tone bars underneath the carved tops of his mandolins, a decade before Loar, and with similar dimensions and orientation. The Harmony mandolins that are related to Shutt's design did not, so far as I've seen, have tone bars at all. But the ones that A.S. built in Kansas, did. At least some of them.)

I have wondered how different the graduations of an early '20s F-4 are from an F-5 of a few years later. And also, how much variation is there in the graduations of the plates, and dimensions of the tone bars of the F-5s (the L-5, too) of the 1920s. And do they change in some consistent direction over time? I guess the question that I'm asking is whether there is a visible period of experimentation in these instruments or whether the pattern was established under Loar, and the craftsman did their best to stick to it?

mtucker
Feb-26-2011, 10:58pm
They are still done that way.
wow, sounds like an opportunity for some process redesign.;)

Ken Waltham
Feb-26-2011, 11:20pm
Big Joe; I have owned a 1929 Fern that I would bet a huge sum was really a 1923 with a 1929 neck and overlay. I have said before to people I know, it is hands down my favourite Fern, and I believe strongly it is because of the body and it's subsequent dimensions.
A true "throwback", or what I think of as a floor sweep model. So, yes, some funny stuff did happen.
Could they get it right the first time? I don't think so, really. Maybe they had the ability to take a back off, then rework, reassemble and re evaluate??
I do think the "experimentals" were probably destroyed, or turned into something useable in a finished form, but never saw the public as a prototype.

Ken Waltham
Feb-26-2011, 11:20pm
Oh, and I agree, the A5 probably was just worked off of the F5, with no prototype.

f5loar
Feb-27-2011, 12:24am
Somethings we do know about the prototype or at least that first June 1, 1922 signed Loar. The back and neck grains match that first catalog photo pretty darn close. However it has a flowerpot and not the fern pattern as shown in the catalog. But when you look at that thicker fern pattern and the concept the photo is an artist rendition of the mandolin not an actual photograph you speculate maybe that fern pattern was never on that mandolin. It was only an idea at the time to make the new F5 with a similar Fern pattern in which Loar was overrided with using up the already cut F4 flowerpots before switching to the new Fern pattern. When the '23 F5 folding brochure came out it showed the same mandolin with a flowerpot and regular PG bracket. By the 1924 catalog the H5 Fern pattern shown is more acurate as to what they did look like. Also the catalog shows a pickguard bracket not seen anywhere else on an F5 and the June '22 has a totally different style pickguard bracket so when you count the final version of the bracket which was used from Nov. '22 on until the cast metal ones came in there were at least 2 other types considered. There are many details of the F5 that did undergo changes in it's short life. That's one reason not all Loars were created equal. I had someone bring by a '23 Loar today to my house and man was it so different then any other I've heard, yet I knew the minute a hit a B chop on it that it was a real Loar. So Ken is right in saying they were all equally consistant made by the same craftsman they all posses their own indivdual indentities making each one so unique.

Glassweb
Feb-27-2011, 2:27am
Gibson in the 1920's... "Businesss as Unusual"...

billkilpatrick
Feb-27-2011, 4:26am
i remember reading in a thread dealing with eastman mandolins that the 1st prototype fell apart - looked ok but structurally unsound.

the "f5" designs found on ebay, etc. every now and then - did lloyd loar ever draw a set?

69012

Big Joe
Feb-27-2011, 8:55pm
It was not unusual in the factory at that time for the guys to take instruments apart after being assembled. When the Virzi's came out they put them in by taking the back off a completed instrument, installing the Virzi, then putting the back in again. They had to notch a tone bar to make them fit. Later, when they were removed, the factory would remove the back again and take the Virzi out. These can be identified by a slightly thinner side rims and if you take a light and mirror you can see the brace notch.

They clearly had the ability to assemble and disassemble the mandolins. I think there were a couple things going on. First, they built bodies and finished them to keep any shrinkage from occuring in the shop. You would think they would have necks installed due to the way they were installed. The necks are usually installed before the backs are put on. It is highly possible and maybe even probable that they would remove the headstock overplate on existing unfinished mandolins and apply the then current headstock overlay and use the then current finish and hardware. I have seen this a few times.

Just as Ken mentioned, there are some from a later date that contain about everything present in the Loar mandolins except finish, hardware, and headstock overlay. There is no reason to think these were not made during the Loar era. Were they rejects? Probably not. Most likely they did not get through the finish process for some reason and were left unfinished for some period of time. Even 29 would not really be unlikely. I would have no doubt Ken's mandolin was built during the Loar era. When they had parts assembled but no orders for product they just sat around until there was an order. Sooner or later the parts would get used and the instrument shipped.

Did Loar have plans? I am sure there was some kind of guideline they used. I don't know that they were as carefully drawn out as we may have available today. They had some plan to make the instruments. They were reasonably consistent if in no other way than their inconsistency. While each batch were great products, there were differences in each batch that help identify them. I certainly would not claim to be an expert on this but have seen enough to know that much. Charlie and I often discussed these things. He certainly was an expert and his wealth of knowledge was always quite fascinating. He could point out all the differences form one batch to another. I do know enough to know that the consistency from batch to batch was not that great. There were small differences in graduations, wood matching, color, etc. There was consistency in the output, structure, and overall quality.

Just as with recent Gibsons, the necks were different in each of the Loar mandolins. I've played them with necks so small it hurt my hand and others with necks large enough to rival the current Bush mandolins. It should not be surprising. These were essentially hand made instruments with few power tools to help direct and guide them through the process. I am certain they had jigs and molds to help with the construction, but still nearly all hand build. It would have been great to have been there and be a part of that era for sure. On the other hand, it was a real thrill to be a part of the Derrington era as well. For all the things that did change through the years, not much had really changed.

MikeEdgerton
Feb-27-2011, 9:53pm
I recall standing in the Opry Mills store watching a Gibson employee with what appeared to be a Dremel fashioning an F5 neck out of a block of wood and was in shock. I assumed they were built the way Martin built guitar necks, on a CNC machine.

Ken Waltham
Feb-28-2011, 6:34pm
That's what I mean about some with funky necks.... I have never seen a Loar like that, and have owned several and played lots. I have been lucky enough to attend the LoarFests when they were in louisville, KY, and have been exposed to some great guys like F5loar, so I have had many in my hands. I know there may be some variation in size, some are quite small, especially the July 9, 1923's and some Feb 18, 1924's. I only know of one Loar with a large neck, a June 1923 that surfaced years ago here in Ontario Canada. It must have been a custom neck, becuase it seems a statistical outlyer.
But... I have seen new Gibsons with "undulations" in the neck, which supports the Dremel tool theory. I really think there was a lot more machine work in the original F5's.
Just think of all the F4's made, there is no way they were done by hand, and I think the same tooling went to the F5 line. They are just too good, and consistent.

f5loar
Mar-01-2011, 12:30am
I've picked some DMM/ MM that had necks like clubs and others with necks so thin I couldn't get a grip on it. Maybe Gibson needs to leave the neck scrapping to one person only. There may be something to those few Loar necks that are extra thin. The F5 was a custom special order mandolin. Maybe the girls wanted those danty little necks for the little hands. Other than a few thin Loar necks the majority I've put my hands around the necks felt just great. Fast and comfortable.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-01-2011, 1:48pm
Oh, and I agree, the A5 probably was just worked off of the F5, with no prototype.

I recently fully confirmed this basic subject. However, the only part truly worked off the F5 is the neck joint area. ALL other aspects are worked off the basic snakehead oval hole premise and patterns. So, I essentially agree that there was no prototype

j-hill
Mar-01-2011, 2:53pm
Two things in this post are extremely interesting to me.
1. I have always wondered what signing the label in an instrument represents and Big Joe answers it below.

The inspection and signature label are to ensure the instrument was structurally sound, fit and finish acceptable, and finally the tone within the range expected. If it did not meet these criteria the label would not be applied and the instrument would not have left the shop in any normal means.

2. That - if I understood correctly - there were no signed labels in Gibson mandolins prior to the Loar labels and that after he left, there were no signed labels until 1971. From f5loar 'Gibson never used another signed dated label until 1971 and they were slightly different.'

My question is, when Loar put signed labels inside of the instruments, was he the first person to do this? In other words, prior to Loar, did anyone else, at Gibson or not, put signed labels inside the instruments (e.g., Martin guitars)?

Thanks
Jason

Glassweb
Mar-01-2011, 3:52pm
Well... There was them fiddle makin' fellers over there in Eye-talia...

Big Joe
Mar-01-2011, 8:02pm
Signing of labels at a manufacturing facility was pretty much unheard of, especially at Gibson. It would have been thought too egotistical and not at all gentlemanly. This is true especially in a factory setting where the main emphasis was the factory brand, not the individual who signed the labels. In some respects it is good to have someone say they have been inspected and who they may have been so if there was an issue one would know who screwed up. However, Fruit of the Loom always used a number for the inspector. This allowed anonymity from the consumer, yet accountability to the company. I'm not sure how that would work in mandolins :) .

Some companies have a strong objection to the individuals having opportunity to become well known from the product they produce. This was a concern Charlie always had. He was afraid his signature on the labels could bring his tenure to an end. He was right, but I am not sure it was for that reason. It may have been part of it, but certainly not that alone. Loar may well have been in the same position and his bosses may have been less than enthusiastic about his signature on their product... especially since they were not selling very well and not well accepted at that time.

Small builders can often sign labels and it is an important part of what they do. However, that does not usually translate as well in a corporate setting. In your own shop you are the most important person. In a corporate environment the company name is far more important than any single individual.

MikeEdgerton
Mar-01-2011, 9:18pm
I've spent half my life looking for No. 42. :)

He or she as the case might be was always my favorite inspector.

Schlegel
Mar-03-2011, 7:34pm
Two things in this post are extremely interesting to me.
1. I have always wondered what signing the label in an instrument represents and Big Joe answers it below.


2. That - if I understood correctly - there were no signed labels in Gibson mandolins prior to the Loar labels and that after he left, there were no signed labels until 1971. From f5loar 'Gibson never used another signed dated label until 1971 and they were slightly different.'

My question is, when Loar put signed labels inside of the instruments, was he the first person to do this? In other words, prior to Loar, did anyone else, at Gibson or not, put signed labels inside the instruments (e.g., Martin guitars)?

Thanks
Jason

Yes, lots of Italian mandolins were personally signed by the luthier or shop owner. There are many signed Calace or Vinaccia mandolins from well before Loar.