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Thread: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

  1. #1
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Just thought I would share this startling new discovery - Volume 1 No. 1 of "The Sounding Board" Gibson's own in-house magazine they started publishing in 1911! There's also an inside page showing off the "Alrite" mandolin; an inside title page that lists Lewis A. Williams as Editor and showing a picture of a very promising new mandolinist named L.A. (Lloyd) Loar. Plus, a neat little poem (had to have written by Williams himself) slamming the "potato bug" mandolins their competitors were making. The name of the magazine was later changed to "The Sounding Board Salesman", which discontinued around the same time Williams resigned from Gibson in 1923-24. It was later replaced by "Mastertone Magazine" which was published from 1926-1937. More information is available at: http://www.fox-guitars.com/Gibson_Publications.html


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  2. #2

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Curious -- are you sure this one is from 1911? I wasn't aware the Alrites were made that early.

  3. #3
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    I didn't think the Model D Alrites were available that early either, but the copyright on the magazine clearly says 1911. Pretty cool.

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    Registered User Joe Spann's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    In my serial number list I don't have any examples of a model D "Alright" mandolin before 1917. So this is indeed very interesting new information. Since none have turned up with a serial number earlier it makes me wonder if Gibson didn't make many of them before 1917. Or perhaps they just didn't survive. Cool stuff.

    Joe

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    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Joe, is it possible that Gibson didn't put serial #s on the early Alrites? I don't think the DY Army Navy mandos had serials #s. The red-headed step child syndrome kinda thang.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of Loar's three point mandola in the photo? Perhaps it's in the archive?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Are we sure that's a mandola?

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    It's an F2 in the photo, not a mandola. See here:
    http://www.siminoff.net/pages/loar_background.html

    Anyone have a copy of Loar's "Gibson Folio No. 1" for plectral quartet with mandobass ad libitum? Sounds like fun.

    Catalog collectors: What's the first appearance of the Alrite in a Gibson catalog? Is it possible that the Alrites were conceived and built as early as 1911, but then held back for some reason?
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    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Do not have Loar's "Gibson Folio", but I did check all of Gibson's catalogs from 1912's Catalog H through 1924's Catalog O and the Alrite Model D does not appear in any of them! However, it does appear on Catalog H's price list for a whopping $3.50, but no page number is given. It also appears on a 1917 price list as "D" Gibson Junior "Alrite" with a huge price increase to $20. I don't have any other price lists between 1912 and 1917.

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    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Here's the only other piece of Gibson literature I have that shows the Alrite - it must date to c1915-16-ish based on the price of $17.00. This one appears to be kinda nice with the inlay purfling around the edges and the unusual tailpiece design.

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  11. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    That's really not an unusual tailpiece design, that is a Waverly cloud tailpiece that Gibson used over the years on inexpensive models. The same tailpiece was used by Martin and just about every other builder up through the 1960's. It's well known.

  12. #12
    Closet Banjo Picker P.D. Kirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    I love the write up about L. A. Loar " He will long be remembered for his prodigious work". If they only knew...
    Never Argue with an Idiot, they will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    The way I read it, it doesn't say that magazine was published in 1911, just that it [the name "The Sounding Board"?] was copyrighted in 1911.

  14. #14
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    For anyone interested there is another later copy of the Sounding Board in the mandolin archive. It's here.

  15. #15
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    There is another forum member that posted information about some WWI-era "Sounding Boards" that I sent a message to, but got no response. Hopefully he reads this as I would like make some sort of trade for any other existing issues of this magazine.

    Does anyone else have any?
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  16. #16
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoCelt View Post
    The way I read it, it doesn't say that magazine was published in 1911, just that it [the name "The Sounding Board"?] was copyrighted in 1911.
    I also have Vol. 3 No. 3 that says Copyright, 1914, so I believe the copyright corresponds to the year of publication although it seems like they skipped a year or one volume covered 2 years.

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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    Yes, based on the two issues together, your interpretation makes more sense.

  18. #18
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    I was also contacted by someone who has a Vol. 2 issue dated 1912, but am waiting to get a copy.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson Magazine - The Sounding Board

    The way I read it, it doesn't say that magazine was published in 1911, just that it [the name "The Sounding Board"?] was copyrighted in 1911.
    Publications will have a copyright date of the year they are published. A name such as "Sounding Board" would be trademarked, not copyrighted.

    Steve

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