Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club




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Serial Number: 95602

FON: 57 D

Year shipped: 1938

Headstock: Horizontal Gibson script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed and narrow blocks from the first fret, long scale length

Body: Unbound f-holes



Notes: The tuners, tailpiece, pick guard and truss rod cover are replacements. The fingerboard binding has been cut through when the guitar was re-fretted and some of the binding has come loose. There are several cracks and a number of holes drilled in the side of the fingerboard to accommodate a pickup. There is also a plugged hole in the lower bout where a jack socket was fitted.


Gibson’s ledgers indicate that serial number 95602 was a ‘long scale’ L-5 with a Natural finish that was shipped on the 16th November 1938 to Lyon & Healy in Chicago.  It was returned for repairs in 1940 and then shipped back to Lyon & Healy on the 10th January 1941 (thanks to Joe Spann for this information).

front back HEAD_9765 head back

“Here are some pictures of a 1938 L-5 that I worked on recently,” says repairman Richard Heeres. “It has had a hard life as a gigging musician’s work horse!”  

binding split 2 binding split FBOARD SIDE

The holes in the side of the fingerboard extension (above) are probably from a vintage DeArmond pickup.

There are several cracks in the binding (below).

front crack 2 front crack

The images below left and right show cracks to the front of the guitar, one below the bridge and the other extending beneath the tailpiece.

jack plug

A hole drilled in the side to accommodate a jack socket has been rather crudely plugged with a beech insert.


Images courtesy of Richard Heeres