L. B. Gatcomb "The Monarch" model 22, 5-string banjo, S/N 2355, Circa 1889

This is an interesting Gatcomb banjo with a 12" head and a 26" scale even though the neck is shorter than most seen on period 5-string banjos.  This is because, like the Gatcomb "Monarch" banjeaurine in my collection, the bridge is located closer to the tailpiece than is usually seen.  Most manufacturers designed their banjos so that the bridge was located about 1/3 of the diameter of the head from the tailpiece, but not Gatcomb.  Whether this was supposed to result in finer tone or higher volume or whatever I am not sure, but this banjo does have a beautiful and clear tone.

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