1930

The shipping dates listed below relate to the instrument’s serial number and are based on information provided in Spann’s Guide To Gibson by Joseph E. Spann

Note that the serial number indicates the date at which the instrument was shipped rather than its date of manufacture

All examples have maple back and sides unless otherwise indicated

If an instrument appears in one of our picture galleries this is noted beneath the serial number

Serial Number: 85437

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 9418

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo, backward-facing banjo tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including backward-facing banjo tuners and wrap-over tailpiece. Short bound pickguard

Source: George Gruhn

Serial Number: 85558

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Replacement tailpiece, tuners and pickguard. Originally had gold-plated wrap-over tailpiece, backward-facing banjo tuners and short bound pickguard

Notes: This is the L-5 that Maybelle Carter used with the Carter Family

Source: George Gruhn

Serial Number: 85568

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 

(See Type Three Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide block inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece and individual open-back Grover 98G ‘Sta-tite’ tuners with butterbean keys. Long bound pickguard

Notes: The body has a centre seam repair. Has original hardshell case

Source: Lowell Levinger, vintageinstruments.com

Serial Number: 85578

Year shipped: 1930

FON:

(See Type Three Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, tuners and trapeze tailpiece are vintage replacements and the pickguard is a repro. Ebony bridge 

Notes: ‘Master Model’ label. An additional oval Gibson label stamped with the serial number, may be evidence that the guitar was returned to the Gibson factory in the 1930s. Has original hardshell case

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

Serial Number: 85755

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 9418

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece. Replacement tuners. Short bound pickguard

Source: Jack Fields

Serial Number: 85758

Year shipped: 1930

FON:

(See Type Three Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and wide ‘pearloid’ block inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners. Long bound pickguard

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

Serial Number: 85970

Year shipped: 1930

FON:

Notes: The guitar was refinished by John D’Angelico, who also replaced thefingerboard. Master model label (replacement fingerboard has 20 frets)

Source: Matt Munisteri

Serial Number: 85978

Year shipped: 1930

FON:

Notes: Neck and fingerboard replaced in 1934 (replacement fingerboard has 19 frets)

Source: Matt Munisteri. Master model label

Serial Number: 86138

Model: L5-TG (tenor guitar)

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 9705

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Diagonal script ‘Gibson’ logo and three pearl inlays (no flowerpot)

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays from the third fret with double dots at the 7th, 12th and 17th frets

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including backward facing banjo tuners with pearl buttons. Short bound pickguard. Replacement tailpiece

NotesTG-L5 tenor guitar, ‘Master Model’ label

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com and Dan Biemborn

Serial Number: 86195

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 8698

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock/neck/fingerboard: See Notes below

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: See Notes below

Notes: 1930s 16-inch L-5 with a replacement top and a Johnny Smith neck and fingerboard. According to its current owner, the work was carried out at the Gibson factory in the 1970s. The original serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock. Like a Gibson Johnny Smith, the guitar now has a 25-inch scale length and the bridge has been re-positioned to accommodate this.

Source: Dutch Archtop Museum

Serial Number: 86289

Model: TGL-5 (tenor guitar)

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 8698

(See Type Three Gallery)

Notes: This guitar was converted fat the Gibson factory from a tenor guitar to a regular six string. Its new fingerboard has position marker at the 10th fret

Source: Howard Emerson

Serial Number: 86333

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: Replacement fingerboard (see Notes below for details)

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners. Short bound pickguard.

Notes: This guitar was owned by repairman Milt Owens who installed a new ebony fingerboard and bridge

Source: Larry van de Leensel

Serial Number: 86342

Year shipped: 1930 

FON: 9688

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the third fret (the 9th fret inlay has been moved to the 10th fret). Non-original pearl custom truss rod cover

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners. Short bound pickguard, ebony bridge

Notes: Belonged to collector/dealer Harry West

Source: Tony Marcus

Serial Number: 86343

Year shipped: 1930 

FON: 

(See Type Three Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: One-piece neck with replacement dot inlaid fingerboard

Body: Maple back and sides, body refinished, small repaired top crack

Hardware: Repro tuners, non-original trapeze tailpiece. New ebony bridge (original in case) and long pickguard

Notes: Owner Tony Marcus says: “This guitar was refinished by Gibson in the 1930s. For some reason, they gave it the colour and shading of the Recording King archtops that they were building at the time. As was often the case, the factory also replaced the original Master Model label with a newer one with the same serial number.”

Source: thunderroadguitars and Tony Marcus

Serial Number: 86383

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

Serial Number: 86512

Year shipped: 1930 

FON: 9688

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners. Ebony bridge. Pickguard is missing. 

Notes: Belonged to guitarists George M. Smith and Barney Kessel

Source: Tony Marcus

Serial Number: 86536

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and dots from the third fret

Hardware: Silver-plated wrap over tailpiece (may not be original to the guitar) 

Source: Jan Koivunen.

Serial number: 86622

Year shipped: 1930

FON:

(See Type Three Gallery)

Headstock: See Notes

Neck/fingerboard: See Notes

Body: Maple back and sides. Has white oval ‘Guaranteed’ label

Hardware: See Notes

Notes: The presence of the centre-dip headstock, wide neck heel, narrow block fingerboard inlays, Grover 98G ‘Sta-tite’ tuners and flat L-5 tailpiece engraved with ‘L-5’ legend, suggest that this instrument was re-necked and re-fitted at the Gibson factory at some point in the mid to late 30s. The finish has been touched up in a few areas and a pair of cracks near the tailpiece have been cleated and resealed. Has a repro pickguard

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

Serial Number: 86624

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 9771

(See Type Two Gallery)

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides, refinished top

Hardware: Replaced with parts from late 1920s L-3.

Source: Jim Garber

Serial Number: 86626

Year shipped: 1930

FON: 9771

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com