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kilroyonguitar

vintage Gibson acoustic

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I'm wondering if anyone might be able to help me. I have an old Gibson acoustic that I'm trying to date. The story goes that when my dad got to toronto from rural Nova Scotia in and around 1958 my uncle gave him this guitar to cheer him up. Supposedly it was a few years old at the time. The back was changed back around 1980 so the label was removed. Dad and uncle are both passed away now. I wondering if someone might recognizes the script of the logo or tuning keys and have an idea of what model year this. Any help appreciated! Thanks.

 

post-6126-083870200 1556032755_thumb.jpg

post-6126-042017200 1556032765_thumb.jpg

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I've got a A couple of more pictures but the uploader says they're too big even though just 257k

 

I have a picture inside the body on the neck block. There's a number "9696 26"

Edited by kilroyonguitar

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Looks like an LG-1 or LG-2, although I would hedge and say LG-1. It's been refinished and tuners changed. Pickguard is in the style of a pre-1955 version, rather than the larger 'batwing' style introduced about 1955.

 

See here a 1958 example: nb7k28ryhaff2wli35ko.jpg

 

And a 1954:

54lg1-013-650x968.jpg

 

You'd have to take a look at the neck block and see if there's a letter and number stamped on it, and also examine the bracing on the top using a mirror to see if it is ladder braced or x-braced to make further determinations as to the age and model.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Fred

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Fred thanks for the quick reply. I'll take a look at it when I get home from work.

 

I have a picture inside the body on the neck block. There's a number "9696 26"

Edited by kilroyonguitar

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Fred thanks for the quick reply. I'll take a look at it when I get home from work.

 

I have a picture inside the body on the neck block. There's a number "9696 26"

 

LG-1 or LG-2. The logo and pickguard would date it from late 1947 to 1955. Because of no letter in the FON, then before 1951.

 

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I am curious why you think the back was "changed" in 1980. The bracing and centerline cleat visible through the soundhole look very much like the standard Gibson factory bracing. The FON dates the guitar to 1951, the last year before a letter prefix.

 

Feel inside the top to see if there is a large X-shaped top brace with it's apex an inch or so behind the soundhole, between the bridge and the soundhole. If it has the X-brace, it's an LG-2. If the top bracing runs transversely, like the back bracing, it is an LG-1.

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A family member told me the back was changed. It wasn't my father. I supposed I just believed it because there is no label? Maybe they were confused? (They were a bunch of heavy drinkers)lol. I know for sure he had a repair on the front. You can see it between the bridge and pick guard.

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A family member told me the back was changed. It wasn't my father. I supposed I just believed it because there is no label? Maybe they were confused? (They were a bunch of heavy drinkers)lol. I know for sure he had a repair on the front. You can see it between the bridge and pick guard.

 

 

This guitar never would not have had a label. It would only have had the ink-stamped FON on the neck block. It might have had LG-2 stamped on the centerline back cleat, in small letters that can be so faint as to be almost invisible. Not all Gibsons have those letters, so it doesn't mean much if they aren't there.

 

A photo of the back might help us tell if the back is original or not. A back replacement is not common.

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I just took another look at the picture I have of the FON. It looks like it could be either (3649 26) or (9649 26). The first digit is double stamped.

 

I will look at the bracing and report back when I get home from work.

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Unfortunately when I try to add even one more picture I get an error notice that says I'm at my limit for adding pictures. I would be willing to send by email.

 

 

Just sent you a PM.

 

You will ultimately have to use a photo-hosting site to post more pictures, but you can email to me for review.

 

If the first digit is 3, it's a 1950. If it's a 9, it's 1951. 1950 and 1951 versions would be identical, so it has no impact on anything, including value.

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The center back strip alone indicates it is an LG-2 but if the OP thinks the back is not original who knows. While the buttons are not original the tuners still could well be. They should be enclosed Klusons, single line if early 1950s, no line if a bit later. I agree though something about the finish does not look right. Then again, I have a heck of time photographing a burst. Never do seem to get it right in a photo.

Edited by zombywoof

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The center back strip alone indicates it is an LG-2 but if the OP thinks the back is not original who knows. While the buttons are not original the tuners still could well be. They should be enclosed Klusons, single line if early 1950s, no line if a bit later. I agree though something about the finish does not look right. Then again, I have a heck of time photographing a burst. Never do seem to get it right in a photo.

 

 

At least part of that top burst has probably been oversprayed, since it masks over the rosette ring at the end of the fretboard. The tuners are two-line Gibson Deluxe, so are later replacements.

 

Judging from a photo the OP sent me, what I can see of the back through the soundhole looks original, which should mean it's an x-braced LG-2.

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I am trying to help the OP sort out proper identification of his guitar. The FON is a bit blurred, but I actually believe the first number is a 3 rather than a 9, which would date it to 1950. (I have two 1950 J-45's with 3 as the first number, and this guitar appears to have been stamped with the same rotating wheel ink stamp as those two, with the same number style.)

 

The top is apparently ladder braced, which should make it an LG-1. Still waiting for exterior pics from him of the rest of the guitar to sort out if what appears to be a two-piece back from the inside is the original back. Looking at some photos he has sent me, there is no obvious indication that the back is not original. The glue joints I can see at the kerfing, neck block, etc, are clean and original-looking.

 

I know that LG-series guitars sometimes overlap in features, and that these guitars carried on with older characteristics such as rectangular bridge longer than slope-J's of the same period.

 

This guitar has black fabric side stays. I associate fabric stays with 1948 or older slope-J's, but don't know if the LG's followed similar timing on this characteristic. I have seen these fabric stays both as white fabric and dark fabric.

 

Is there someone here who has an LG-1 or LG-2 from between 1948 and 1950 or so who can verify whether or not their guitar has fabric side stays? I suspect Tom Barnwell has one from this period, but others here probably do as well.

 

Thanks.

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I am trying to help the OP sort out proper identification of his guitar. The FON is a bit blurred, but I actually believe the first number is a 3 rather than a 9, which would date it to 1950. (I have two 1950 J-45's with 3 as the first number, and this guitar appears to have been stamped with the same rotating wheel ink stamp as those two, with the same number style.)

 

The top is apparently ladder braced, which should make it an LG-1. Still waiting for exterior pics from him of the rest of the guitar to sort out if what appears to be a two-piece back from the inside is the original back. Looking at some photos he has sent me, there is no obvious indication that the back is not original. The glue joints I can see at the kerfing, neck block, etc, are clean and original-looking.

 

I know that LG-series guitars sometimes overlap in features, and that these guitars carried on with older characteristics such as rectangular bridge longer than slope-J's of the same period.

 

This guitar has black fabric side stays. I associate fabric stays with 1948 or older slope-J's, but don't know if the LG's followed similar timing on this characteristic. I have seen these fabric stays both as white fabric and dark fabric.

 

Is there someone here who has an LG-1 or LG-2 from between 1948 and 1950 or so who can verify whether or not their guitar has fabric side stays? I suspect Tom Barnwell has one from this period, but others here probably do as well.

 

Thanks.

 

I don't really have much substantive to add -- which has never stopped me of course.

We have no LG from those years -- we have a 46 LG-2. The two Gibsons we have from that period -- we have them dated as 1948 (3772-28, ES-150) and 1950 (4919-10, CF-100). Historically it has been hard to date (for me) in that late 40s-early 50s period, so this is at best an informed guess. Arguably the CF-100 features might be relevant -- many consider it to be a pimped out LG-2.

We are away from both instruments right now, so I can't look inside and see the sides. What I can do is show the braces, the tuners, and the FON.xElwCl0.jpg

iwHRVXJ.jpg

 

B1WFxn9.jpg

 

Best,

-Tom

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Tom, that's useful. It clearly shows black fabric side stays on one of the guitars, which is consistent with the OP's guitar. It seems that as you might expect, not all models made the transition to "newer" characteristics at the same time.

 

I am curious on the 1948 dating of the ES-150, with the 3772 FON. I've seen conflicting statements about FON's in the 3000 range, with some saying 1948 and some 1950. This is a case where the factory ledgers would be invaluable. I used to call my old J-45 3644-8 a "1948-1950" to reflect ambiguity, but have recently started calling it 1950 for the sake of simplicity.

 

Do you have a definitive source on this conundrum?

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I'm seem to remember when I was a kid someone asking "is that the old arch top?" but I was only 12 or 13 and I'm not sure if they were referring to this guitar or one of the others in the room. I will take a ton of pictures tonight and post them to a photo sharing site tonight.

 

I truly appreciate all the help fellas.

Edited by kilroyonguitar

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I'm seem to remember when I was a kid someone asking "is that the old arch top?" but I was only 12 or 13 and I'm not sure if they were referring to this guitar or one of the others in the room. I will take a ton of pictures tonight and post them to a photo sharing site tonight.

 

I truly appreciate all the help fellas.

 

 

Thanks. That will be helpful. People here are generally reluctant to opine in the absence of detailed photos.

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Thanks Tom, that's useful. It clearly shows black fabric side stays on one of the guitars, which is consistent with the OP's guitar. It seems that as you might expect, not all models made the transition to "newer" characteristics at the same time.

 

 

Both the CF-100 and the J-200 retained the stiffened fabric/wood side supports.

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This guitar has black fabric side stays. I associate fabric stays with 1948 or older slope-J's, but don't know if the LG's followed similar timing on this characteristic. I have seen these fabric stays both as white fabric and dark fabric.

Fwiw in the wonderful world of Gibson oddities, many years ago I owned an L-48 that I'd dated to 1948. I've never come across another like it, and it is one I do regret letting go.

 

The arched top was solid pressed mahogany, but the solid mahogany back & sides seemed to have been fully borrowed from a flattop platform. The sides had the fabric reinforcements, and the back was fully braced. I still have two grainy polaroid photos of this guitar, where a portion of the horizontal back braces can be seen through the f-holes.

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Both the CF-100 and the J-200 retained the stiffened fabric/wood side supports.

 

At some point, at least for the slope J's, they transitioned from fabric side stays to "popsicle stick" wooden ones. Both of my 1950 J-45's have the wooden ones. Not sure when or if they stopped using those completely in Kalamazoo. My only "relatively standard" Bozeman slope J has no side reinforcements at all, which I assume is the modern standard. I don't know if the sides of modern Gibsons are slightly thicker, or if they just decided side reinforcement was unnecessary.

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At some point, at least for the slope J's, they transitioned from fabric side stays to "popsicle stick" wooden ones. Both of my 1950 J-45's have the wooden ones. Not sure when or if they stopped using those completely in Kalamazoo. My only "relatively standard" Bozeman slope J has no side reinforcements at all, which I assume is the modern standard. I don't know if the sides of modern Gibsons are slightly thicker, or if they just decided side reinforcement was unnecessary.

 

 

My '57 CF-100E had the stiffened fabric side supports and the 1960 J-200 the wood supports. Never could figure out why the J-200 needed them as the rim and back are laminate.

Edited by zombywoof

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