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About Spirithawk

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    Branson, Missouri
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    Guitars, hunting, fishing, hiking
  1. Ok, I guess some obvious questions would be; 1) Are there any records of what early arch tops were made by Gibson for Montgomery Ward? 2) Of those, what model would have the brand name WARD, not WARDS with the s added, inlaid in the headstock and is the fact that the logo is inlaid, not stenciled, significant? 3)Was there another model besides the L30 and L37 that measured 14 3/4" across the bell or was it those models Wards received with their name on them as that is what this guitar measures? 4) Given the info I've posted is there any way to pin down the date this guitar was made? 5) Does the fact it has the WARD brand on the headstock, rather than Gibson, have any effect on value? So far I know that Gibson sold the Kalamazoo KG-21 to Montgomery Ward. I believe it is basically an L-30. Other than WARD on the headstock mine is identical to the 1935 Kalamazoo KG-21 in that the back is un-bound.
  2. Somehow this posted three times. Could a moderator please delete two. My apologies. No idea how it did that. Thanks
  3. I recently scored this old WARD/Gibson archtop. It is in fair condition for it's age but the front has one 3" crack and the back a couple more longer ones. Any idea on how expensive it would be to repair them?Other than the cracks it is in pretty good condition.
  4. I recently picked up a vintage archtop at a yard sale that I'm trying to learn as much as possible about. It is a Ward made by Gibson for Montgomery Ward back in the 30s. It very much resembles the Kalamazoo models made during the same period. I know, from reading posts on here and what little info I can find elsewhere, that the Ward/Wards guitars were called Recording Kings but those I've found were all marked as such. I've only found one with a WARDS logo and one with WARD like mine. Could this possibly be an earlier model of the Recording King? I also read that only aprox. 125 archtops were made for Ward with the Ward logo but there wasn't much more info than that. Also, that these were the very first guitars Gibson ever had listed in a catalog. No idea if that is true. Inside, on the wood, is stamped in ink 72 followed by a capital A. I'm guessing that might be an order number? I read that Gibson used an A as a prefix starting around 1935. The bracing is parallel not x. There is also a WARDS label that has what appears to be FE6, FEB or FE8 not sure as it is hard to read. Might even be F88. It is stamped on it twice in ink. I'm not interested in money value, I know these were budget end guitars at the time, as much as I am the history of this old gem, mainly because I'm old myself and like old things! lol Any info at all would be dearly appreciated. I'm very much considering sending it to Gibson to have the few cracks repaired. I want them repaired but done right, and with the Gibson history, feel it only right it be done by Gibson. Just hoping I can afford it! lol I practically stole this guitar, as I only gave $40 for it, and feel it well worth getting the cracks repaired but, again, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think I may have just answered part of my questions. I believe this to be an L30 or possibly an L37. It is 14 3/4" across the bell. The article I read said that not many of the L30s were made and even fewer with the sunburst finish. Also that the only difference in an L30 and an L37 was that the L37s pick guard was bound. As you can see, mine is un-bound so I'm guessing that makes mine an L30. One more piece of the puzzle is that mine has no truss rod. I've read that was due to a shortage of metal because of the war. I see some L30s do have truss rods. Is mine just an early model? I'm a bit confused as to an exact id of this guitar! ROFL
  5. Hi, I am a disabled Vietnam Vet, been married to my wife 45 years next week, and I live in the S.W. Missouri Ozarks. I've been playing guitar since I turned 14, I'm now 64. One of my passions is vintage guitars. I joined because of a recent yard sale find. I picked up an old Gibson made WARD Archtop and am trying to learn as much as possible about it and vintage Gibsons in general.
  6. I joined yesterday and made a single post in the Vintage Forum. It doesn't show and if I try to make another post today it says I have exceeded my limit? How long before my first post should appear?

  7. I recently picked up a vintage archtop at a yard sale. The headstock has WARD inlaid, and as far as I can tell, it's the same exact guitar as those arch tops made by Gibson during the Depression with the headstock having the Kalamazoo logo. Same exact finish, trapeze, bridge, pick-guard,tuners and neck. I know Gibson had a deal with Montgomery Ward and made these guitars as more of a budget model to help keep the plant afloat during the difficult times. These were made in the early to mid 1930s. From what I've read, these guitars were made using the same wood as the higher end models but just with lesser embellishments. Just more plain and not as fancy. I've only found one listing for another marked WARDS ( Mine is just marked WARD with a WARDS label on the inside.) but it wasn't for sale. The few Kalamazoo marked ones I've found are averaging $1,000 and a bit more and are in very much the same condition as mine. I figure I got a real gem, and a killer deal, as I only paid $40 for mine. I just fell in love with it at first sight though and plan on keeping it. Now here is my questions; Inside the back is stamped A72 in ink. I'm guessing that was the order number? On the WARDS label, stamped twice in ink, is what appears to be FE6. Any idea as to the meaning of that? I can find no serial number but read that's not unusual for that era. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time. This guitar already has a place in my heart! :)
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