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Gibson L5


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That serial number (EG 5322), and it is a serial number, not a factory order number, is from 1939, and probably early to mid-'39.


E = Letter code for the year 1939.

G = Letter code for the brand of instrument, in this case "G" for Gibson, versus "K" for Kalamazoo.

5322 = Random or sequention number of no use in dating the instrument.


This system was only used around the '38-'39 era. Prior to this numbering system the "factory order number" had the date code letter in between two sets of numbers (such as "330 D 8" for 1938). Sometime in 1939 they went to an "EA" prefix for serial numbers and also returned the the previously mentioned FON system. Depending on the model, guitars had one or the other (SN or FON) and sometimes both.


During the mid 30's to early 40's there were many changes happening to the L-5, and the post 1940 L-5 remains virtually unchanged to this day (except for cutaways and pickups). It is possible that an L-5 from 1939 may have some "transition" elements.


Post some pics, we'd love to see it.

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