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My "Banner era" Gibson book project gets some press!


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Thanks for posting here, in addition to on some of the other boards -- this truly is a 'labour of love'!


For those of you who may be unaware of this work, you should know that John is researching war-era Gibson acoustics, and has gone so far as to actually x-ray a series of vintage Gibson acoustics just last week -- mostly J-45s, L-00s, SJs, and LGs -- and has obtained some pretty interesting images, such as these:





The detail in wood grain, bracing size and placement, curvature of frets, trussrod shapes, and other items is remarkable in some of these images!


The direct link to some of these xray images is found here .



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Thanks, folks.


Please remember that these are just my snapshots of the X-ray films as they hung on the viewer. Next stop is the medical photographer who will do some lovely duplications of these images.


To my eyes, though, they still look pretty cool.

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Nice stuff, John! I was hoping he would show a closeup of the women and the headstock and then have you do a little picking on that beauty. Not a guitar guy, was he? Congratulations and I believe the forum members should have a way to order autographed copies of your book when the ink dries!

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The previously unknown history of the women who built the suberb banner Gibsons is a great story by itself, and a new, unique chaper in Gibson lore.


In addition, what you and your collegues are learning and documenting about why banner Gibsons sound so great will certainly be a major addition to our understanding of guitar building, and helpful to players and builders of all brands.


Best of luck with your project. Can't wait to see it published.


Red 333

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I can't wait for your book. I dread your book.

On the one hand, I love reading

and fantasizing about banner-era Gibsons. I hope to own a genuine article someday.

On the other hand, a book like this can only serve to increase the price further

past my reach. Maybe I should try to score one prior to publication. :)

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Thanks, all!


It's a pretty exciting project. There are some pretty significant differences from 1927 to 1946, and even 1943 to 1946, in bracing pattern and thickness, dove tail joint design, and other aspects of the guitars.



Here are some pics of the process and a few of the X-ray images of a 1932 L-00.


Here are, roughly, X-rays of: 1943 SJ, 1944 LG-2, 1946 SJ, 1927 L-1, 1930 L-1, and 1935 L-Century.

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Congratulations, JT!


Did many of the women continue to build guitars after the war?


What kind of lead time is necessary to make the average person, man or woman, capable of building a quality guitar? My guess is that it takes more time to train a luthier than it takes to train someone to be a competent riveter. (No offense meant to Rosies; my own grandmother "built" B-25s -- that is, she had a role on an assembly line which continued to be organized and directed by experienced, perforce male, employees).


So I'm wondering just how Gibson managed the transition, what were the actual tasks performed by the newly trained female employees, and what came of the skill sets developed by these women over this period.



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Thanks for the questions. I'm actually still hunting for all of the answers. In most cases, the women were not hired into central guitar building roles, but performed tasks like sanding, binding, string making, etc. When management discovered their skills, they moved to more skilled positions and got their training on the job.


Probably my most amazing experience so far was meeting the woman how inspected all of the flattops during the war. I had with me my 1943 SJ, which she had originally inspected and I had her inspect it again.


For me, at least, it makes for a fascinating story of a company's survival during difficult times.

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