NMM 10052. Mandolin by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company, Kalamazoo, ca. 1904.
Style F-3. Serial number 3617. Board of Trustees, 2001.
The scrolled upper rib and three "points" of the body outline make the early Style F mandolins one of Gibson's most distinctive products. Sold through Gibson teacher-dealers, these instruments fed the fire of demand for mandolins in the early twentieth century. In order to be in one of the fashionable "Gibson-ite" orchestras, a player had to purchase an instrument from a Gibson agent, whose exclusive territory ensured a local monopoly. Often such dealers formed and led the mandolin orchestras that further publicized the Gibson instruments and their teaching services. The formula was extremely successful, and Gibson catalogs of the 1910s and '20s are filled with images of Gibson orchestras and testimonials of professionals who played Gibson instruments. As William Reyelt, soloist and Gibson agent, wrote of the Style F mandolins in the 1912 catalog, "I find that the 'Gibson' is very often its own best advertisement, as it surely 'speaks for itself' in glowing terms. And that together with the splendid talking points gets the prospect every time."
Front and Back of Body
Front and Back of Peghead
Views of Mechanical Tuners, Fretboard, and Back of Neck
Treble and Bass Sides of Neck Heel
Tailpiece and Soundhole
Bridge and Bottom of Mandolin
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
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Vermillion, SD 57069