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Thomas Baum

Dobro

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This is only 95 to present. Not sure how old you think yours is. It may or may not help.

Dobro (1995-present)


1995-1997
A(A) (#)###YY
A(A) = model code
(#) ### = ranking number
YY = last 2 digits of year
Example - BA xxx 95 dates to 1995

1997-Current
YMMDDRRY
Y = last digit of year
MM = Month
DD = day of month
RR = ranking number
Y (last digit) = decade 

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Factory Order Numbers (FON) with a letter from 1935 to 1941

The FON consists a batch number of usually four digits, followed by a one letter (sometimes prefixed by a space) followed by one or two digits (ranking).
• 1935-1937: Letter between the batch number and the order number.
   e.g. 0123 A5
• 1938-1941: Two or three letters before batch number. The first letter
   is the year. If there is a second character follows it is the code for
   the type of the instrument. (G = Gibson, K = Kalamazoo,
   W = Recording King (Montgomery Wards).
   If follows there is a third letter E, it stands for Electric.
• Exceptions: Some high-end models and lap steels from 1939-1940
   have been added the letter A, to the prefixes D, E or F.

 

1st Letter  PRODUCTION YEAR 
A  1935 
B  1936 
C  1937 
D and DA 1938 
Ex (x = any letter) 1939 
F and FA  1940 
E (no sequel letter) 1941 
G  1941 
H  1942 

So "B" could indicate 1936

the FON (Factory Order Number) 321

the "9" could be the Ninth one built.   Maybe...

I think you should contact Gibson directly...

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If it is pre Gibson the B means "metal".  If this is a pre-Gibson Dobro Gibson can and will tell you nothing about it.  There are a couple Dobro serial number places on the net.

rct

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If Gibson acquired Dobro in 1998 Gibson it would have to be newer, but if its old maybe a prototype from the 40's...  maybe...

Article    https://www.vintageguitar.com/30152/a-guide-to-vintage-dobros/

The U.S.’ entry into WWII was a death blow to resonator guitars. President Roosevelt issued a limitation order restricting the use of critical materials. Louis Dopyera saw the handwriting on the wall. Within weeks of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he sold all the assets of National-Dobro to himself and with his former employees Vic Smith and Al Frost started the Valco Corporation to go into war work. According to Smith, Valco sold the Dobro hardware it had on hand to Gibson.

Gibson experimented with a few resonator guitar prototypes in the 1940s, but never put any into production. After the war Valco returned to the instrument business, building electric guitars. Regal struggled along and declared bankruptcy in 1954.

Not until the folk music revival of the ’60s would anyone make another Dobro.

 

The article link below says Serial number 101-401 were manufactured in 1967-1970, which is before Gibson bought Dobro in 98 .....

http://www.guitarhq.com/dobro.html

Edited by mihcmac

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15 hours ago, mihcmac said:

If Gibson acquired Dobro in 1998 Gibson it would have to be newer, but if its old maybe a prototype from the 40's...  maybe...

Article    https://www.vintageguitar.com/30152/a-guide-to-vintage-dobros/

The U.S.’ entry into WWII was a death blow to resonator guitars. President Roosevelt issued a limitation order restricting the use of critical materials. Louis Dopyera saw the handwriting on the wall. Within weeks of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he sold all the assets of National-Dobro to himself and with his former employees Vic Smith and Al Frost started the Valco Corporation to go into war work. According to Smith, Valco sold the Dobro hardware it had on hand to Gibson.

Gibson experimented with a few resonator guitar prototypes in the 1940s, but never put any into production. After the war Valco returned to the instrument business, building electric guitars. Regal struggled along and declared bankruptcy in 1954.

Not until the folk music revival of the ’60s would anyone make another Dobro.

 

The article link below says Serial number 101-401 were manufactured in 1967-1970, which is before Gibson bought Dobro in 98 .....

http://www.guitarhq.com/dobro.html

 

mihcmac. Thank you. I never knew any of that. I've saved your response & link in my guitar folder. Excellent =D>

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