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Gibson Lap Steel

#1 User is offline   BigDrew 

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

Hi folks. Interesting story...
When I was an 18 year old kid I did a bunch of stupid crap, and probably one of my biggest regrets was pawning my dad's lap steel.
Well, I'm an acoustic player, and a couple of days ago I was in that same pawn shop where I pawned the lap steel 18 years ago...I was looking at their inventory, trying to find something for myself, and over in the corner I saw this little brown case. I thought, "Surely not." Inside the case was a black Gibson lap steel...I asked the guy behind the counter about it, and I said, "How long have you had it?" He said, "Not sure, I found it under a work bench in the back...looked like it had been there for years." I knew for sure that it was my dad's then. I asked him what he wanted for it, he said $200...he probably could have said 10x that and I would have paid it.
Needless to say, this was a pretty emotional experience. My dad passed away when I was 24, and music, especially classic country, is how he and I bonded when I was a kid. I learned how to play by listening to Haggard, Willie, Waylon, Hank...all those old greats that dad had everyone of their albums.
To me, it was like the old man was looking down from heaven yesterday saying, "I still love ya boy."

I can't find any serial or model numbers on the guitar. I've looked everywhere I know to, aside from taking it apart. Does anyone have any info as to what model this might be, what year it may have been made? I went to the local luthier and he said he didn't have a lot of experience with lap steels, but he did know that during WWII Gibson didn't typically put serial numbers on their instruments.

Any help you guys can give would be greatly appreciated. I have more photos if needed.Posted Image
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#2 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:14 PM

Wow Drew, it's cool that you got the guitar back after all these years! I also lost my dad when I was in my mid-20's (a long time ago), and I understand why this would be an emotional situation for you.

I don't know much about lap steels, so I'll defer to others for now, but I just would point out that the style of the "Gibson" logo on the headstock would date it to no earlier than about 1948.
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#3 User is offline   BigDrew 

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:22 PM

View PostJimR56, on 11 May 2017 - 07:14 PM, said:

Wow Drew, it's cool that you got the guitar back after all these years! I also lost my dad when I was in my mid-20's (a long time ago), and I understand why this would be an emotional situation for you.

I don't know much about lap steels, so I'll defer to others for now, but I just would point out that the style of the "Gibson" logo on the headstock would date it to no earlier than about 1948.


Thanks for the info about the logo, Jim. That definitely narrows things down some. I know Dad bought this somewhere between 58-61, because he had told me he bought it when he was in high school, and working at a gas station...he became friends with one of the mechanics and they'd go back to his house and play guitar in the evenings after work. He graduated and joined the army in 62...and, I would assume a high school kid working part time isn't going to buy brand new...so we can figure 48-57? And, I want to put it in the earlier time frame because most of the lap steels I'm seeing from the 50s have a more boxier shape to them, whereas all of the ones from the 30s-40s have this more traditional look. But this fret board, I'm only seeing on 50s models. So perhaps 48-51 or so? This is fun trying to figure out...hopefully someone with lap steel knowledge will be around soon.
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#4 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:11 AM

Looks to be a 1948 BR6 from what I can see in the photo.
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#5 User is offline   BigDrew 

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:55 PM

View PostOldCowboy, on 12 May 2017 - 07:11 AM, said:

Looks to be a 1948 BR6 from what I can see in the photo.


Thanks Cowboy!
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