No great historical revelations here, but fun to be able to peek up close at the stuff on Loar’s workbench as shown in this original photo. (Photo taken in Gibson’s original factory building, Kalamazoo, MI.)
A: The earliest version of the adjustable mandolin bridge designed by Gibson featured an aluminum saddle. These were in production for about a year. The mandolin that Loar appears to be picking with his right hand has a later period F5-style two-piece adjustable bridge with an ebony saddle.
B: A bridge base with an especially large base (apparently for a mandola) sitting on a box of other bridge bases and parts.
C: An early quick-winder (with handle facing away from us, and the socket for tuner’s knob on the left).
D: Several Virzi Tone Producer plates. Most of them have the bottom part of their feet broken off and it appears that these are test Tone Producers that have been removed from instruments.
E. Blocks of Virzi Tone Producer feet (upper one is the forward foot and lower one is the rear foot). The final thinner feet were cut from these blocks (as seen on the Tone Producers closest to the bottom of the photo.
Loar’s wife Bertha said that “Lloyd enjoyed a good cigar,” and from looking at his workbench, it is obvious that he put the cigar boxes to good use!
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