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Need to identify the year of L-50


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(I've posted the same question to the Introduce Yourself forum, but I've been pointed to this forum.)

 

I have an old L50 (please see the images). I looked at some documents about serial numbers and FON, but was not able to find our which year this instrument was made:

 

Through the lower f-hole, I can see the following set of numbers in blue.

 

5290 20

 

There is a space before "20" at the end.

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.

 

Thanks very much!

post-66233-076732100 1404549662_thumb.jpg

post-66233-001026000 1404549670_thumb.jpg

post-66233-061570700 1404549679_thumb.jpg

post-66233-061856400 1404549685_thumb.jpg

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As ID'd in another thread, this is an L-50.

 

As for year of manufacture.... the trapezoid inlays replaced dots around '52 or so, the "modern" Gibson logo , and shorter pickguard, came along sometime in the mid-50's.

 

The FON: IF all numbers, this number is fairly useless, BUT..........

 

Is it possible the first number you list (5) could be the letter "S". During this period ('52-61ish) Gibson used a letter code FON on their "student" models.

 

"S" would be 1959, which also fits in with all other features and info.

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As for year of manufacture.... the trapezoid inlays replaced dots around '52 or so

 

No, the trapezoid inlays replaced the dots around 1946.

 

the "modern" Gibson logo , and shorter pickguard, came along sometime in the mid-50's.

 

The modern logo (on low end models) came along in 1946 (gold silkscreen); and 1954 (gold decal).

 

The FON: IF all numbers, this number is fairly useless, BUT..........

 

Is it possible the first number you list (5) could be the letter "S". During this period ('52-61ish) Gibson used a letter code FON on their "student" models.

 

"S" would be 1959, which also fits in with all other features and info.

The reverse letter code system you're referring to employed a four-digit batch number (and the 2-digit sequence number) after the letter. So it wouldn't make sense for his "5" to be an "S". FON's in the 5000 series were used in 1950.

 

If the gold "Gibson" logo appears to be a silkscreen rather than a decal, I would suggest that this one dates to 1950.

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Thanks for both of your comments!

 

I looked at the number again, but the first letter still looks to me like it is 5' (five). I've added a picture of the number here.

 

post-66233-044814800 1404848736_thumb.jpg

 

The logo looks like it is a decal, but I really can't tell.

 

But, all the evidence seem to suggest that it was made in 1950, and the logo is a silkscreen.

 

Thanks!

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Yes, that's clearly a "5", and not an "S" at the beginning of your Factory Order Number. Four digits, space, and two digits is correct for a FON.

 

In case it helps, here is a photo of a gold Gibson logo which was applied as a decal:

 

GibsonLesPaul57Junior7-5077351.jpg

 

You can see the decal's outlines around the edges of the letters.

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