Gregg Miner has given me a shout out in his article “A Lost Scroll of the Ages” which appears in the Spring issue #41 of the Fretboard Journal. More importantly is his reference to the Gibson booth at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Gregg and I both believe that in the beginning, Orville was “the company.” No cabinet maker can walk in the door and produce the exquisite workmanship of an experienced luthier such as Orville. The learning curve is simply too great. This affects dating and attributing the true maker of the earliest company instruments.
Read his blog post about the Gibson display at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis here…
2 thoughts on “Fretboard Journal”
I agree with Gregg and your assessment of Orville’s involvement on the early instruments and the Worlds Fair instruments. As the owner of a Style O #2626 and having seen and held a dozen of the instruments built prior to 1903, I strongly believe that Orville was totally involved in the construction of all the instruments built in 1903. The instruments I have seen with serial #s in the 2600s are very true to Orville’s patent and pre-factory construction.
Keep up the good work Joyce
Richard Gellis-Union Grove Music
Another aspect is that Orville had been showing his instruments at the Kalamazoo County Fairs and mentions the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair in one of his advertisements. I believe it’s quite possible that he could have already been in the process of applying to the 1903/1904 World’s Fair when the company “happened along.”