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Factory Records How far back?

#1 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Are records available for 1939? If the answer is yes, how would I get some info on a certain FON?

Thanks

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#2 User is offline   vacamartin 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

View PostRichG, on 08 December 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

Are records available for 1939? If the answer is yes, how would I get some info on a certain FON?

Thanks

Rich



Rich, good luck. I tried to get info from 2002 and was told they'd get back to me. That was weeks ago. J.D.
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#3 User is offline   tvguit 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

I have a Spann's Guide that might be able to help. All it would be able to do is verify the date and model though. What is the FON?
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#4 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Someone here (tpbiii, maybe?) has photocopies of the Gibson shipping records from back in the 30's, as he owns a number of guitars from that period. If you give us the model and the FON, we might be able to provide some general info. If you aren't sure of the model, post a picture.

#5 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

It is my J55, FON EA 5506

My curiosity comes from the fact that this guitar has individual bone "bearings" not a one piece saddle. I've done enough research to find that the bridge that is on it with the individual bearings, one under each string was used only on 1939 and maybe 1940 J100, but I cannot find any evidence it was used on a J55. I have pictures but I'd have to get on a PC to post. I can email them to anyone who wants to pm me.

So the question is, was this bridge and saddle set up put on sometime after it left the factory ( most likely) or was it a special order?

I have an email into one of the Gibson historians, but it's been a real long time and I have no answer, so I thought I'd try here. This is mostly a curiosity issue that comes from my interest in the history of some of the old things I own.

It is likely that this was done at some later time as the guitar has been refinished a long time ago, but ???

I used to own a Piper Comanche airplane that had some funny stuff in the log books when it was new in 1961. It took me a couple of years but I found it was one of two prototypes for the installation of a fuel injected engine and the original registration application was signed by William Piper Jr. That and metro card will get you on the subway as they say, but I found it interesting to get to the bottom of it.

So, that's the whole story.

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#6 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

View Posttvguit, on 08 December 2012 - 08:29 PM, said:

I have a Spann's Guide that might be able to help. All it would be able to do is verify the date and model though. What is the FON?

Would you mind if I sent you a couple of pictures?

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#7 User is offline   tvguit 

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

View PostRichG, on 08 December 2012 - 09:29 PM, said:

Would you mind if I sent you a couple of pictures?

Rich


Please do! My email is tvguit (at) gmail. I didn't want to spell it out for fear of bots.
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#8 User is offline   TM 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

but I cannot find any evidence it was used on a J55. I have pictures but I'd have to get on a PC to post. I can email them to anyone who wants to pm me.

So the question is, was this bridge and saddle set up put on sometime after it left the factory ( most likely) or was it a special order?


I too have a J-55, 1941 with standard headstock and batwing bridge. The early versions, probably like your guitar, have the stairstep peg head, open moustache bridge with bearings, like the J-100. The early ones also have a longer scale. At least I believe there are some. If there are there were not many made with the bearings. I look and see if I have a picture of one. They made very few J-55, there are small numbers in a variety of configurations.

send me your photos; tmitchell59 at comcast.net

Thanks, Terry

here is a shot of my 1941. bought from the original owner about two miles from my house.

Posted Image

#9 User is offline   TM 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

I found the pic in my files, it is from Folkway Music in Canada. I did not find a pic of a bearing J-55, but I think I have seen one. this pictured combination is variant two, regular head stock with mustache bridge. the early variant had the stair step peghead with mustache bridge.

looking at a bridge pic I could tell if is correct.

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#10 User is offline   tvguit 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

From Rich:

Posted Image

The new home of True Vintage Guitar
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#11 User is offline   tvguit 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

FON:

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#12 User is offline   tvguit 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

The Spann's guide is pretty weak on FONs from '39. It does not have a record of this batch. My Fabulous Flat-tops book does mention the moustache bridge on the J-55 but doesn't say anything about the barrels except for them being on J-100s. A very rare bird indeed!
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#13 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

View Posttvguit, on 09 December 2012 - 02:35 PM, said:

The Spann's guide is pretty weak on FONs from '39. It does not have a record of this batch. My Fabulous Flat-tops book does mention the moustache bridge on the J-55 but doesn't say anything about the barrels except for them being on J-100s. A very rare bird indeed!



Thanks for posting the pictures for me. Yes, I have read the Fabulous Flat Tops book cover to cover and it only added to the mystery. The another weird thing is that I have seen a 1939 J100 with a bat wing bridge, but I'm sure that was the result of a resurrection as the guitar had a lot of repairs done to it.

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#14 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:34 PM

send me your photos;

Thanks, Terry

Terry

I sent you a couple of pics that are not posted here. Thanks for the picture of yours. It is great to know its history and the fact that it is all original.

Rich

[/quote]
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#15 User is offline   TM 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

The another weird thing is that I have seen a 1939 J100 with a bat wing bridge, but I'm sure that was the result of a resurrection as the guitar had a lot of repairs done to it.

The last J-100 variants had the batwing bridge. They are scarce in any form. A shop out east had the great Lonnie Johnsons J-100 batwing repairs and all. I don't know if it still there. was on their site for some time given the price.

Thanks for the pics, I sent you an email.

Terry

#16 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:19 PM

You might try writing Willi (BHguitars) or John Thomas. They have gotten into the Gibson ledger books and I have seen them help other folks out with Gibsons from the 1930s. You can find contact info for both over at UMF.
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#17 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:37 PM

View Postzombywoof, on 09 December 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

You might try writing Willi (BHguitars) or John Thomas. They have gotten into the Gibson ledger books and I have seen them help other folks out with Gibsons from the 1930s. You can find contact info for both over at UMF.


Thanks. I'll give that a try.

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#18 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

I got a response from Gibson Montana indicating both the individual bone bearing saddle and the one piece saddle were avaiable on the J 55 in 1939. They sent me pictures of both. I have emailed those to two forum members who I was having an offline discussion with since I can't load them from my iPad. I went to photo bucket as suggested in another thread but it turns out my iPad OS is too old. I hate doing upgrades, but it looks like I'll have to bite the bullet.

There was no indication that they know how many of each kind were made. I am assuming the picture they sent was not my guitar, but another :D

It didn't look like mine in any case.

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

#19 User is offline   jt 

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

The Gibson shipping ledgers (at the HQ in Nashville) go back to 1936. Earlier than that, only random years beginning in the teens have survived in the hands of a private collectors.

My book, due out by year's end, contains photos of selected ledger pages and a description of them. Oh, and I interviewed the woman who wrote the ledger entries during WWII.

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#20 User is offline   RichG 

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

View Postjt, on 15 December 2012 - 04:21 PM, said:

The Gibson shipping ledgers (at the HQ in Nashville) go back to 1936. Earlier than that, only random years beginning in the teens have survived in the hands of a private collectors.

My book, due out by year's end, contains photos of selected ledger pages and a description of them. Oh, and I interviewed the woman who wrote the ledger entries during WWII.

Posted Image



I'm looking forward to the book. Looks like a great read for us history junkies!

How does one get access to those shipping ledgers?

Rich
Gibsons: 2011 AJ with aftermarket Trance system; 2012 Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo; 1939 J-55
Martins: D18GE; Martin Custom OM42 Adi/Madi
Other: 1966 Guild D40; 1966 Epiphone Cortez; Voyage Air VAMD 04

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