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khuevo
08-27-2013, 05:34 AM
Hello, I aqcuired this Gibson Uke-1? from a family friend a few years back. It was sitting on the workbench in my basement until a musician friend came by and thought based on "the gibson" stamp it probably has some value. Not sure I'm interested in selling but after some research am guessing it's a soprano uke-1 circa 1930's since it seems they ceased with "the" around that time. It's in pretty decent shape, other than about a 4" vertical crack on the back and some minor dings which are visible in the attached photos. I'm pretty sure on saw one on Elderly's site a few years back but haven't seen a soprano there in a bit.
Had it under the lights and scoured the surface inside and out for a serial number or stamp but can't find one, perhaps the music store plate covers it, but I doubt it would be that front and center.

Any ideas on the history here?

Hunleth music was a successful instrument shop for many years here in St. Louis, closed down in '74 I believe.

thanks for chiming in!









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RyanMFT
08-27-2013, 05:53 AM
Hello and welcome to UU. That is a nice ukulele you've got there. 1930's Gibson, their most basic model. Gibson basically followed Martin's number system so that would make yours a style "O". I have the same ukulele and it is a wonderful player.

You won't find a serial number on it, they weren't numbered like guitars. My theory on that is that guitars are so common and indistinguishable from one another that companies have to put serial numbers on them to tell one for another....not so with ukuleles!:rolleyes: I suggest you play it, it is a great instrument!

Ernie
08-27-2013, 06:14 AM
Actually, Gibson's nomenclature is a little different from Martin's. That's a style 1 you have there. A style 2 would have white binding, and the style 3 is uber-fancy.
Good find!

RyanMFT
08-27-2013, 06:28 AM
Actually, Gibson's nomenclature is a little different from Martin's. That's a style 1 you have there. A style 2 would have white binding, and the style 3 is uber-fancy.
Good find!
I stand corrected....learn something all the time from UU! Thanks Ernie!

khuevo
08-27-2013, 06:34 AM
Thanks for your reply Ryan, I have played it some but pretty much held off once I realized its age.
It has a couple of issues, E string friction tuner slips and the hairline crack at the rear must affect the tone some. Does sound pretty nice though.
Guess I'll tote it to the local folk instrument shop in town and see if they can get it tuned/spruced up a bit without compromising any of the orginal hardware.

RyanMFT
08-27-2013, 06:41 AM
I bet a small hairline on the back won't impact tone. A ukulele's tone is mostly driven by the soundboard (top). You can adjust the tuners better than most shops could. If you back the screw out and put a tiny bit of lubrication on the threads, then reinstall, it likely will tighten.

It would be good to have the crack fixed, but make sure it is a shop who knows what they are doing. Your Gibson has some value, and should be handled by a competent luthier to fix a crack.

philphlash22
08-27-2013, 07:53 AM
I have a UB-1 from the same era with that exact sticker. They must have been a major player in the 30's

khuevo
08-27-2013, 10:37 AM
Pic's not great but you get the idea:

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provines
08-27-2013, 10:37 AM
I think the music dealer's label in the headstock gives the Uke a bit more charm and authenticity. Neat instrument.

strumsilly
08-29-2013, 08:07 AM
Welcome to UU Khuevo. Is this for sale? if not questions like this probably belong in the uke talk forum. this is for sale, want, and trade items. nice uke by the way.