There is no serial number on the head: there is a set of numbers stamped at the equator of the barrel, just to the left of the bunghole, as follows:
6 3 4
3 4 8 7
1 1 0
3 8 3 5
The writing on the head is:
"Gibson Distilling Co
John Gibson's Son & Co.
Gibsonton Mills, PA"
The barrel is 22" inside at its widest, 20" across the head, and stands 33" high. When I carried her (I think of her as I do a boat) out of the cellar, the four center hoops fell off. The markings on her showed that she was a six hoop barrel, not eight. It also seems she was laquered black overall and quite possibly with a red head (except for the trade mark) and foot.
The picture showing the color of the inside in pretty close to true. Also, on a good dry day I swear I can smell the rye she once held.
As far as age is concerned, I have guessed as much as 100 years based upon the trade mark, Mark's time line and the article posted by "EllenJ."
Are there any pictures of Gibson barrels that you have seen?
Every thing I did in my life that was worth while, I caught hell for. [Earl Warren]