Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

Shipping dates are given as day/month/year)

 

1938

 

Model: L-5 Electric Special

 

Serial Number: 95423

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

31/05/38 Shipped to Music Mart – not described as electric

 

23/03/39 Shipped to Les Paul – not described as electric

 

24/01/41 Shipped to New York salesman L. Neal – ‘L-5 Electric Special’

 

‘L-5 Electric’ shipped 09/07/43 with EH-185 Amp serial number 14545

 

Notes: Initially shipped to Music Mart in May 1938, this guitar reappeared in the ledgers for the following March when it was sent to guitarist Les Paul. The instrument was shipped a third time in 1941 to L Neal. It was not listed as an electric guitar in the first two ledger entries and may have been converted from an acoustic L-5 at the request of Les Paul.

 

 

Model: L-5 Electric

 

Serial Number: 95509

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Notes: Delivered to Roy Smeck in September 1938, this guitar was subsequently shipped to Les Paul on 03/11/42

 

Source: May 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

 

1939

 

 

Model: Electric L-5 Natural

 

Serial Number: EA 5112

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

17/05/39 Shipped to Allan Reuss with an ‘EH-150 Amplifier Special Natural’. Not described as electric.

 

11/03/40 ‘Electric L-5 Natural’ shipped to Allan Reuss with a ‘Special EH-150 Amplifier Natural’

 

25/02/42 ‘Electric Spanish L-5’, shipped to

Lyon and Healy

 

08/05/42 Shipped to E. Roberts

 

Notes: Delivered to Alan Reuss in May 1939, along with an EH-150 amplifier. Though not specified as an electric in the first ledger entry, the guitar was described as an “Electric L-5 “ when it was shipped to Reuss a second time in March 1940, suggesting that Reuss may have been returned it to the factory to be fitted with electronics.

 

 

Model: L-5 Electric

 

Serial Number: EA 51126

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

 

08/05/42 ‘L-5 Electric’ shipped to E. Roberts

 

 

Model: Electric L-5

 

Serial Number: EA 5590

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

12/12/39 ‘Electric L-5’ shipped to J. B. Millhollan

 

 

1940

 

 

Model: L-5N

 

Serial Number: FA-5165

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1940

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Notes: Shipped to Les Paul in March 1941 and returned to Gibson shortly after

 

Source: July 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine and Dec 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

 

Model:

 

Serial Number: FA-5173

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1940

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Source: July 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

 

Model: L-5 and Electric Pickup

 

Serial Number: 96267

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1940

 

17/11/41 ‘L-5 and Electric Pickup’

shipped to New York Band

 

Notes: This may be an acoustic L-5 that was shipped with a detachable pickup.

 

 

Model: L-5 P

 

Serial Number: 96276

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1940

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Notes: This L-5P was shipped to Les Paul in September 1940 along with an EH-160 amplifier

 

Source: Dec 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

 

Model ES L-5P

 

Serial Number: 96515

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1940

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Notes: Sent to Charlie Christian in June 1941. Following Christian’s death in 1942, the guitar was returned to Gibson. It later belonged to Tony Mottola and in the 40s was fitted with a second bar pickup at the bridge, which Mottola later replaced with a humbucker.

 

Source: Dec 2013 edition of Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

 

1941

 

 

Model: Natural L-5 Electric Spanish

 

Serial Number: 96881

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1941

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

‘Natural L-5 Electric Spanish’ shipped to Les Paul 13/05/41

 

‘L-5 Natural Electric’ shipped 02/09/43

 

 

Model L-5E (listed in ledger as ‘L-5P with ES-300 Pickup’)

 

Serial Number: 96978

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1941

 

Headstock: Horizontal Gibson script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret

Body: 17-inch cutaway body with Natural finish

Hardware: Gold-plated including Varitone tailpiece. Rosewood bridge. The pickguard is missing

Electronics: ES-300 short diagonal pickup, two knobs on treble side below the bridge

 

Notes: This L-5P was sent to Alan Reuss along with an EH-185 amplifier serial number 16213. The guitar’s interior label reads: ‘Style L-5E’. Reuss returned the instrument to Gibson a few months after receiving it.

 

28/05/41 ‘L-5P with ES-300 pickup and EH-185 Amplifier serial no 16213’ shipped to Allan Reuss

 

 

Model: Electric Spanish L-5

 

Serial Number: 96893

 

FON:

 

Year shipped: 1941

 

‘Electric Spanish L-5’ shipped to Geo Rose, Loan 18/08/41

 

‘L-5 Natural Electric’ shipped 06/12/43 to Grinnell Bros.