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BjornS

Wen was my LG-1 built?

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Hi everyone, I am looking for some help with trying to figure out when my guitar was built.

The thing is that the serial number (852128 or 352128) indicates that it is from either 1966/69 or 1965, depending on what that first digit is.

At any rate, the strange thing is that the features don't look like an LG-1 from the 60-s at all. It has 19 frets, small pickguard and a wooden bridge, all of which makes it look like an LG-1 from somewhere between 1948 and 1955.

Does anyone have any ideas about what I have here?

 

Thanks for any help!

 

All the best

Bjørn Solli

post-76624-008828500 1454016171_thumb.jpg

post-76624-022284800 1454016191_thumb.jpg

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I say 1949. The best (only) Factory Order Number information I have access to states that in 1949 they had FONs in the 2000 range. Yours is 2128. If someone handed me that guitar and said it was a 1949 I would believe them.

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That's a real oddity. A picture of the front of the guitar would be helpful.

 

I assume that it has LG 1 stamped on the inside back centerline, since you have identified the model.

 

My first thought was that the batch and rack number had somehow been reversed, but that could only work if the first two digits are 35 rather than 85, since the rack number is usually 40 or less.

 

I have never seen a picture of the actual type of ink stamp that Gibson used, which could help to determine if this is a plausible theory.

 

I have a J-45 from the same general late-40's period, and it has a 3 as part of the FON. Although that 3 can be more clearly read, I can also see how your first number could be 3 rather than 8, just from examining the shape of the 3 in the FON of my J-45, and knowing how it can be blurred when there is too much ink on the stamp. My FON also has an 8 in it, and that is quite blurred.

 

I'm going out on a limb, and based on your description of the guitar, and my bizarre theory, say that this is a 1948-1949 model. If the headstock is tapered in thickness (when viewed from the side), with a thickness of about 12.5mm at the extreme top of the headstock, and about 17 mm at the E string posts, that would confirm the age, if not the theory about the odd-ball Factory Order Number.

 

Edit: I see your photo now. How about one showing the face of the headstock? I'm going with 1948-1949.

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Thank you very much for your help guys!

I added some pictures to the original post and the following one.

 

I measured the headstock and it tapers just like you say nick.

It has some new Grover tuners on there and has had some repairs, but plays very nice.

 

Upon closer inspection I am leaning towards the first digit being a 3.

So just to make sure I understand it correctly, the number stamped inside is the FON-number, right? Are usually FON and serial numbers totally different?

 

I read that the lower grade Gibsons only had FON numbers and no paper labels with serial numbers, and there is no paper label inside mine.

 

I also read that "In 1949, a four-digit FON was used, but not in conjunction with any code letter indicating the year". Any idea what the FONs looked like in 1948?

In the blue book it says 1948 serials were from 1100-3700S and that the 1949s were in the 2000S, so both years used numbers in the 2000-range? That seems strange.

 

What a peculiar murky world I've entered here...

I really appreciate your help here! My guitar just became 20 years older today, which is a fun thing!

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Murky world for sure!

 

 

My 1952 Gibson LG1 pictured below (with new ebony bridge) with great Gibson full "C" neck - the model went through lots of changes over the years. Yours has my pickguard and general look - mid 50s the long J50 type guards were used, late 50s and early 60s saw adjustable bridges, skinny necks and...gulp ..plastic bridges and probably a general lowering of material standard?

 

Only silly slide players want the LG1 I have found - great for slide. Plucker generales prefer the x brac LG2, which is way more expensive!.....

 

 

 

LG1-Apple7_zps301f9ea8.jpg

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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We have a ES-150 we dated to 1949 -- 3772-28 And a CF-100 we dated to 1950

 

4919-10

I'm with Nick -- 1949. This is based on features a lot.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

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I measured the headstock and it tapers just like you say nick.

It has some new Grover tuners on there and has had some repairs, but plays very nice.

 

Upon closer inspection I am leaning towards the first digit being a 3.

So just to make sure I understand it correctly, the number stamped inside is the FON-number, right? Are usually FON and serial numbers totally different?

 

I read that the lower grade Gibsons only had FON numbers and no paper labels with serial numbers, and there is no paper label inside mine.

 

I also read that "In 1949, a four-digit FON was used, but not in conjunction with any code letter indicating the year". Any idea what the FONs looked like in 1948?

In the blue book it says 1948 serials were from 1100-3700S and that the 1949s were in the 2000S, so both years used numbers in the 2000-range? That seems strange.

 

Gibson had a bad habit of not being perfectly clear or perfectly consistent with their serial number and FON systems until 1979, when I believe the format became what it is today. Over the years, there have been several periods where these numbers were either out of sequence, of totally different formats, or even duplicated.

 

Lower-end models like the LG-1, and even some we identify as higher-end (like the J-45) did not get real serial numbers until much later in the game than your guitar.

 

Dating your guitar wouldn't be murky at all except for the oddly-formatted Factory Order Number. The 2128 is the FON, and that indicates either 1948 or 1949, but probably 1949. The 35 should be the rack number, or the place in the batch of guitars designated by FON 2128. The normal format for the number would be 2128 35. Note that there is a space between the two sets of numbers. For example, my 1948-1950 J-45 has the FON 3644 8, so it was the 8th guitar within the FON 3644 batch of guitars. I actually ran into guitar number 10 in that batch a couple of years ago.

 

All the key characteristics of your guitar place it in the 1948-1951 timeframe: 19-fret neck, small pickguard, block logo, and tapered headstock.

 

The "block" logo says 1948 or later. The tapered headstock says 1951 or earlier. Ignoring the 35, the 2128 says 1948-1949. And yes, numbers could be out of sequence in that period.

 

These oddities aren't news to those of us who have owned and played vintage Gibsons for decades. I'm celebrating 50 years of owning my 1948-'50 J-45 this year. It was only 16-18 years old when I got it, and it's nearly 70 years old today. Come to think of it, so is its owner.

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I  have a question.  Is the top binding around the guitar a simple ivoroid  or is it multi-ply?   Hard to tell from the photo but it looks like it could be multi-ply which would be another feature which is not LG1- ish.   Maybe somebody here with better eyes or a good magnifier could take  gander.  What you might do  though is grab a light and a mirror and look under the top to see if there is any evidence  of an earlier bracing footprint.   Also a good repair guy should be able to fill you in on  what is original to the guitar and any modifications that have been made.

Edited by zombywoof

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17 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

Whatever the year, COOL guitar.

Those Grovers hurt my sensibilities, though....

 

While I also think Grovers  look so wrong on a Gibson acoustic, in this case  they might just fit in with that Flying V-inspired headstock.  

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I can't imgine what someone was thinking when they cut a V into the headstock of a gibson.  😱

I plan on replacing the tuners, truss rod cover and pick guard, but not until I get a luther to replace the missing brace and stabalize the crack.  Want to ensure I have a stable guitar before replacing parts.

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I would imagine you could also have an inset made for the cut out in headstock.  Probably cover the front with a veneer and paint a stinger on the back to cover where the pieces were joined, any added splines, and such.   Whether this was a factory screw up which resulted in an  LG3 (assuming it has a multi-ply binding) leaving the factory as an LG1 or the result of somebody subjecting the guitar to some severe modifications  down the road, I probably would have laid out $400 for it and sweated the details later.    Then again, I am the guy who laid that much out on a 1956 Harmony H40 which, although a very rare guitar and 100%opriginal,  had a poorly done repair to a split in the side and was in need of both a neck reset and compression fretting.  Never regretted it.

Edited by zombywoof

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