It was quite a surprise to receive these photos from the son of the original owner, showing his mother, Marian Lauber, playing the banjo in a 1932. It has been previously accepted that the one-piece flange banjos in this range of serial numbers were from the mid-1930's. Although this is only a few years' difference, it pushes back the production dates of many other one-piece flange banjos into the 1920's whose serial numbers precede this banjo.
Here is how Jerry Ours, the current owner and Marian's son, tells the story of this banjo:
"Mom passed away about 30 years ago and I kept her Gibson banjo. It is in
the original case..I think. I have attached several pictures, one of her playing
it in 1932. I do not know how she acquired the banjo. I'm guessing some one
might have given it to her, as the family was not well off financially at that
time. I do know that she loved playing it and at one time she played with a
musical group. The family lived in Syracuse NY. A story that I remember hearing
was that she had a chance to either try for or play for Red Nichols and His Five
Pennies group. Her mother, widowed at the time, refused to let her go. It was a
time of some disagreement in the family, I was told. I guess I can understand
that now as she would have been in her mid-teen years at that time.
As for the accuracy of the date on the photo, I can not swear to it, but I can tell you that my mom was always quite organized and often put names and dates on photos. I'm attaching another photo of her along with a friend who appears to be playing a ukulele ?? (I'm not sure). This photo shows the same date and appears to be taken the same time and place of the other. Also my mother was born in 1917 which would have made her 15 years old in 1932. She looks to be near that age in the photo, although it is hard to determine a three year difference.. "