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djsodie

Help w/ ID - 1950ish Acoustic?

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Hi All - Hoping someone could help me positively ID my grandfather's acoustic. My best guess is a 1950, and I imagine it's a lower end model. I haven't been able to actually find the serial number (probably not looking in the right place. I do have pics of the numbers I could find, "339". And it's probably impossible to tell in the picture, but it seems there was a hand written "34" in red to the right of the three digits, but its incredibly faint. I forgot to take a picture of the entire thing, but for good measure I've attached it in action from when his band played for WBLT in Bedford, VA. Fella on the left.

 

Appreciate any info you all are willing to share. Thanks! -Brandi

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The '339' you see is the Factory Order Number (FON). Typically guitars of a certain model were made in batches of 40 and yours is #34 of that particular batch of 40. I'm afraid I do not have any info as to when that FON was produced but I think some on the forum do have some info.

 

It looks to me like an LG-1. You are correct in assuming it's a lower end model but it is still a desirable old Gibson.

 

I'm sure others will chime in, but this will get you started.

 

It looks like the tuners buttons are rotting away, which is typical. The buttons themselves can be replaced, so don't let anyone spook you or try to talk you into changing the tuners. Better to spend the money on replacement buttons and keep it as original as possible.

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If there is a 'V' shaped brace just inside the soundhole toward the bridge then it's an LG-2. A more valuable model by over 2X than the LG-1, which would have a brace that ran straight across the underside of the top just below the soundhole. That would be the most significant determining factor.

 

I look at that group picture and wonder what their set list was.

 

Don't think of junking the tuners. A repair shop could install new buttons.

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Thanks, didn't snag a pic in that direction but will check next time.

 

Would love help with the year. I have postcards people sent into the radio station requesting songs and the earliest postmark I see is June 1950. So I imagine that is the latest year it would be.

 

Oh, and in regards to the set list, I have some handwritten... "pistol packin' momma" is my favorite song title to appear :) They played country and bluegrass. They were called the "Happy Mountain Boys."

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1947-1951 LG-1 or LG-2, depending on the top bracing. X-braced top is LG-2, ladder braced (top braces go straight across top from side to side)is LG-1.

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Hi All - Hoping someone could help me positively ID my grandfather's acoustic. My best guess is a 1950, and I imagine it's a lower end model. I haven't been able to actually find the serial number (probably not looking in the right place. I do have pics of the numbers I could find, "339". And it's probably impossible to tell in the picture, but it seems there was a hand written "34" in red to the right of the three digits, but its incredibly faint. I forgot to take a picture of the entire thing, but for good measure I've attached it in action from when his band played for WBLT in Bedford, VA. Fella on the left.

 

Appreciate any info you all are willing to share. Thanks! -Brandi

 

For sure an LG 1

Nice guitar by the way, and cool to have an instrument with such sentimental value

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Well folks - It's x-braced and therefore appears to be an LG-2, which I'm pretty stoked about! Thanks so much for all of your help, especially to those who emailed and sent along resources. It's been a blast learning all about it!

 

For the few who emailed about possibly purchasing, the intent is to keep it in the family. Appreciate your interest in it, it confirms it's not only a special guitar to our family, but in the Gibson family as well :)

 

- Brandi

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a Lg 2.. Not a Lg 1.. center back strip. Lg1s never had that.

 

Read this link. Quite a bit down to the section on Gibson FON numbers during WW-2. Where it says that a RED penciled SEQUENCE number AFTER the ink stamped number indicates WW-2 production. So it would appear that your guitar is a 1942-1945 vintage. Using the chart below it, it looks to me like possibly a 1945.

http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial

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Thanks for linking this, the year is a bit of a mystery. I also found the note about the red pencil but there is no banner logo so I really am just not sure of when it was built. It was purchased around 1950 new, so that's all I've really got other than dated song requests. I can't find anything that helps me place the three digit FON! If anyone knows where a serial number might be hiding I would welcome that info. So far my fancy pants tiny mirror has turned up nothing!

 

 

Read this link. Quite a bit down to the section on Gibson FON numbers during WW-2. Where it says that a RED penciled SEQUENCE number AFTER the ink stamped number indicates WW-2 production. So it would appear that your guitar is a 1942-1945 vintage. Using the chart below it, it looks to me like possibly a 1945.

http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial

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According to this, it say's "SOME" wartime Gibsons had the banner. Which I would take to mean "not all".

BTW, did you know that during WW-2, Gibson guitars were built primarily by women.

https://books.google.com/books?id=M-3HoVgxFBIC&pg=PA150&lpg=PA150&dq=Gibson+%22banner+LG-2+guitars&source=bl&ots=l7feUpNtZf&sig=WozuiN_zkxfJB9-9EDYiH3wKf_0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8t4KVb7HKo_nsASBq4LYDw&ved=0CHQQ6AEwCTgK#v=onepage&q=Gibson%20%22banner%20LG-2%20guitars&f=false

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Very nice to own a family guitar. No doubt it is a post-war LG2, 47, 48.

Not challenging you, but curious how you come to that conclusion.

The red pencil sequence number by the FON number suggests war time production. During which time was the only time that was "reportedly" done. But the lack of banner is a curiosity. If going by the FON number it self, A 3 digit number could be 1945, or 1949.

https://books.google.com/books?id=REhMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA243&dq=duchossoir+%22gibson+electrics%22+%22numbering+schemes%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KeW-VPXJBsOmyASP94KQBQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=duchossoir%20%22gibson%20electrics%22%20%22numbering%20schemes%22&f=false

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Not challenging you, but curious how you come to that conclusion.

The red pencil sequence number by the FON number suggests war time production. During which time was the only time that was "reportedly" done. But the lack of banner is a curiosity. If going by the FON number it self, A 3 digit number could be 1945, or 1949.

https://books.google.com/books?id=REhMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA243&dq=duchossoir+%22gibson+electrics%22+%22numbering+schemes%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KeW-VPXJBsOmyASP94KQBQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=duchossoir%20%22gibson%20electrics%22%20%22numbering%20schemes%22&f=false

Block lettered Gibson logo on the headstock? If it ws earlier than late 40's probably would have carried the script logo?

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Not challenging you, but curious how you come to that conclusion.

The red pencil sequence number by the FON number suggests war time production. During which time was the only time that was "reportedly" done. But the lack of banner is a curiosity. If going by the FON number it self, A 3 digit number could be 1945, or 1949.

https://books.google.com/books?id=REhMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA243&dq=duchossoir+%22gibson+electrics%22+%22numbering+schemes%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KeW-VPXJBsOmyASP94KQBQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=duchossoir%20%22gibson%20electrics%22%20%22numbering%20schemes%22&f=false

 

The earliest post war Gibsons, 1946 had the old Script logo only. No one is exactly sure of the date of the "new" logo as mentioned above, but pretty quickly after that. The wartime LG will have the Banner. The reverse alphabet numbering began in 1952. The three digit number could be anywhere from 47-51.

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I'm sticking with my original timeline: 1947-1951. Since it's x-braced, we now know it's an LG-2.

 

To eliminate any confusion caused by some info here, the block logo on this guitar did not come into being until late 1946 (at the earliest) or 1947. 1947 is the generally accepted time, but I've seen unambiguous serial numbers (not FON's) on higher-end guitars from early 1947 that still have the earlier script logo, so the timing of the logo change does vary with the model. I've seen another version of the same 1947 script-logo model that I have that is only 100 serial numbers later in production, and it has the block logo rather than the script logo.

 

FON's in 1947-1951 are not necessarily definitive, so you sometimes have to go by the characteristics of the guitar when the FON is ambiguous, as this one is. By 1952, FON's are pretty definitive, since the reverse alphabet prefix (Z for 1952) began.

 

With the early-style block logo and non-letter FON, this is pretty definitively 1947-1951.

 

I have a J-45 from this same period, with an FON that could be either 1948 or 1950. Since the physical characteristics between 1947 and 1951 are pretty much identical, I will never know exactly what year it is unless the production ledgers from this period become publicly available. The same applies to your guitar.

 

It's a nice guitar. Enjoy it.

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I'm sticking with my original timeline: 1947-1951. Since it's x-braced, we now know it's an LG-2.

 

To eliminate any confusion caused by some info here, the block logo on this guitar did not come into being until late 1946 (at the earliest) or 1947. 1947 is the generally accepted time, but I've seen unambiguous serial numbers (not FON's) on higher-end guitars from early 1947 that still have the earlier script logo, so the timing of the logo change does vary with the model. I've seen another version of the same 1947 script-logo model that I have that is only 100 serial numbers later in production, and it has the block logo rather than the script logo.

 

FON's in 1947-1951 are not necessarily definitive, so you sometimes have to go by the characteristics of the guitar when the FON is ambiguous, as this one is. By 1952, FON's are pretty definitive, since the reverse alphabet prefix (Z for 1952) began.

 

With the early-style block logo and non-letter FON, this is pretty definitively 1947-1951.

 

I have a J-45 from this same period, with an FON that could be either 1948 or 1950. Since the physical characteristics between 1947 and 1951 are pretty much identical, I will never know exactly what year it is unless the production ledgers from this period become publicly available. The same applies to your guitar.

 

It's a nice guitar. Enjoy it.

 

Well put. I collected data on these early post war guitars for a time. Not a large sample. I owned a few so I could exam them, then whatever I could get from the internet. I just quit with the data collection because it didn't make much sense. Side reinforcement: fabric or wood changes in those years. I would guess those are solid sided guitars. These era guitars are not to be slighted.

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I'm sticking with my original timeline: 1947-1951. Since it's x-braced, we now know it's an LG-2.

 

To eliminate any confusion caused by some info here, the block logo on this guitar did not come into being until late 1946 (at the earliest) or 1947. 1947 is the generally accepted time, but I've seen unambiguous serial numbers (not FON's) on higher-end guitars from early 1947 that still have the earlier script logo, so the timing of the logo change does vary with the model. I've seen another version of the same 1947 script-logo model that I have that is only 100 serial numbers later in production, and it has the block logo rather than the script logo.

 

FON's in 1947-1951 are not necessarily definitive, so you sometimes have to go by the characteristics of the guitar when the FON is ambiguous, as this one is. By 1952, FON's are pretty definitive, since the reverse alphabet prefix (Z for 1952) began.

 

With the early-style block logo and non-letter FON, this is pretty definitively 1947-1951.

 

I have a J-45 from this same period, with an FON that could be either 1948 or 1950. Since the physical characteristics between 1947 and 1951 are pretty much identical, I will never know exactly what year it is unless the production ledgers from this period become publicly available. The same applies to your guitar.

 

It's a nice guitar. Enjoy it.

 

I think this timeline makes the most sense too, pairing all of the info with what we know from my GMA. We know he bought it in 1950, maybe 49. We're sure he bought it new, so unless it was sitting around forever in the shop I don't think it could be any older than 47 (when you consider the logo). My guess is 1949. The red lettering is a mystery. Maybe one day we'll find out! Regardless, I definitely know more today than a week or so ago. You all have been super helpful. Really appreciate it!

B

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The red letters are numbers of guitar in the batch. Often fades with time. Don't help identifying the year. You say he bought it 49 or 50 which makes sense.

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