Gibson factory
George Gruhn on Spruce

Gibson’s catalogue O (issued in either late 1924 or early 1925) stated: “Sounding boards are carved from Adirondack, West Virginia, Norway or Pacific Coast spruce of the very highest grade and quality…

Maybelle Carter truss rod cover
The Gibson truss rod cover by Paul Alcantara

The patent for Gibson’s adjustable rod was filed on April 5 1921 and issued on February 27 1923. Invented by Plant Manager Thaddeus McHugh, the device was installed in all Gibson guitars – with…

100 years of the F5 mandolin
100 Years of the Gibson F-5 Mandolin by Paul Alcantara

The Mandolin Orchestra The early years of the 20th century saw a dramatic rise in the popularity of the mandolin orchestra, which Gibson was quick to exploit. The superiority of the company’s product,…

1952-L-5N Norman's Rare Guitars
The Postwar Gibson L-5 by Paul Alcantara

Background Responding to a growing demand for its products, the post-war years saw Gibson – now owned by the Chicago Musical Instrument Company (CMI) – expand its workforce and acquire new equipment…

L-5CES
The history of the Gibson L-5CES by Paul Alcantara

Introduced in 1951, the L-5CES (the earliest examples were labelled L-5SEC) was intended as an electric version of the L-5C. In effect, it replaced the three pickup ES-5 – described in Gibson’s…

Paul alcantara
Buying a vintage archtop guitar by Paul Alcantara

Dealer, private sale or online auction? In the past, used instruments were purchased from a store, found in the ‘for sale’ columns of a local newspaper or bought from a friend or…

Richard barnes
Eddie Lang Day

“I joined a band playing 1920s style jazz in the early 1990s and was given a cassette tape of songs to learn,” says guitarist Richard Barnes. “The first one was ‘Dinah’ by…

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