Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1930

 

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

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85437

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9418

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo,

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, backward-facing banjo tuners with pearl buttons, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Source: George Gruhn

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85558

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson'  logo,

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, replacement trapeze tailpiece and tuners and non-original long bound pickguard (originally with short pickguard)

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

Source: George Gruhn

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85568

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

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

Body: Has a centre seam repair

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual Grover tuners, regular trapeze tailpiece and long bound pickguard

Notes: Has original hardshell case

Source: Lowell Levinger, vintageinstruments.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85578

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

 

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

Body:

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 of a trip back to the Gibson factory in the '30s). Has original hardshell case

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85755

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9418

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved base plate and pearl buttons, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece, short bound pickguard

Source: Jack Fields

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 85758

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and pearloid block inlays starting at the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, three-on-a-strip Waverly tuners with engraved base plates and pearl buttons, wrapover trapeze tailpiece, ebony bridge, long pickguard

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

 

 

Model: L5-TG (tenor guitar)

Serial Number: 86138

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9705

Year shipped: 1930

 

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

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, backward facing banjo style tuners with pearl buttons, replaced trapeze tailpiece, short pickguard

Notes: L5-TG tenor guitar, ‘Master Model’ label

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86195

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 8698

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Notes: 1930s 16-inch body with a replacement top and a Johnny Smith neck and fingerboard (according to its current owner, this 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.

According to Joe Spann, this guitar was returned to the Gibson factory for repairs on 4th February 1936, 14th October 1937, 8th November 1943, 24th June 1949 and 21st July 1949

Source: Dutch Archtop Museum

 

Model: TGL-5

Serial Number: 86289

FON: 8698

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Notes: Converted from a tenor guitar to a regular six string (new fingerboard has position marker  at the 10th fret)

Source: Howard Emerson

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86333

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, three-on-a-strip Waverly tuners with engraved base plates and wrap-over trapeze tailpiece, ebony bridge

Notes: At one point this guitar belonged to repairman Milt Owens, who installed a new ebony fingerboard

Source: Larry van de Leensel

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86342

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9688

Year shipped: 1930

 

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, wrap-over tailpiece and three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved base plate and pearl buttons. Ebony bridge and short bound pickguard

Notes: Belonged to collector/dealer Harry West

Source: Tony Marcus

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86343

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: Slim one-piece neck with non-original 19-fret fingerboard with square end and block inlays from the third fret (see notes below). Has been refretted

Body: 16-inch body with maple back and sides has been refinished, small repaired top crack

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, non-original Schaller tuners (since changed to Waverly repro tuners), new bridge (original in case), regular trapeze tailpiece and long bound pickguard

Notes: Owner Tony Marcus says: “This guitar was refinished by Gibson in the 1930s. For some unknown reason, they gave it the colour and shading of the Recording King archtops that they were building at the time. The block inlay 19-fret fingerboard and long pickguard were almost certainly installed at this point. 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/Tony Marcus

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86383

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86512

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9688

Year shipped: 1930

 

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, wrap-over tailpiece and three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved base plate and pearl buttons. Ebony bridge. Pickguard is missing

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

Source: Tony Marcus

 

 

Model: L-5

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

Body:

Hardware: Silver-plated wrap over tailpiece (we have never come across an L-5 of this era with a silver-plated tailpiece suggesting that this item may not be original to the guitar)

Source: Jan Koivunen.

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86622

FON:

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: See notes

Neck/fingerboard: See notes

Body: Two repaired cracks

Hardware: Ebony bridge, repro pickguard

Notes: Has white oval ‘Guaranteed’ label. The presence of the centre-dip headstock, neck with narrow block inlays, Grover Sta-Tite tuners and gold L-5 logo tailpiece, suggest that this instrument was refitted at the Gibson factory sometime between 1935 and mid-1937.

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86624

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON: 9771

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

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

Body:

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

Source: Jim Garber

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 86626

FON: 9771

Year shipped: 1930

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com