Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1932

 

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

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88255

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

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

Body: Maple back and sides

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

 

Notes: The top has been refinished and a three-inch section at the lower back edge has been re-glued. There is some evidence of shrinkage at the side and in an area of the upper bout.  A two-inch crack on the back has not been repaired.

 

Source: Kent Garcia, KJ Guitars

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88259

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: Dot inlaid fingerboard

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Waverly tuners with pearl buttons

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88290

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pearloid block inlays

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, open gear Grover G-98 tuners with metal ‘butterbean’ buttons, trapeze tailpiece and ebony bridge

 

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88300

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

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

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including non-original Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved baseplate and wrap-over tailpiece, ebony bridge and repro pickguard from Cumberland Acoustics

 

Notes: The back of this L-5 was removed at one point and it has two repaired back cracks in the lower bout. Has Barney Kessel’s name scratched into the finish on the back of the headstock

 

This is the second of two 16-inch L-5s that Kessel bought from guitarist George M. Smith in the late 1940s. It has his name and Social Security number inscribed into the back of the headstock.”

 

Source: Tony Marcus

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88325

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: Re-fretted 19 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the third fret

Body: Refinished

Hardware: Regular trapeze tailpiece

 

Notes: Restored by Thomas Amberger who repaired a number of cracks and refinished the entire guitar. Non-original Gotoh tuners and strap button added on treble side of heel. The tailpiece, pickguard and bridge are original. Has original hardshell case.

 

Notes: Joe Spann (author of Spann’s Guide To Gibson) confirmed that this guitar was re-worked at the Gibson factory in 1936. This explains the narrow fingerboard inlays which are occasionally found on 16-inch L-5s shipped after the introduction of the 17-inch Advanced L-5 in 1935

 

Source: The Fellowship of Acoustics

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88368

FON: 201

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with Celluloid block inlays from the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece, long pickguard

 

Notes: According to Robb Lawrence, who currently owns this L-5, it was Eddie Lang’s guitar. Joe Spann adds “Serial number 88368 is too early to be found in the remaining Gibson shipping ledgers but I can tell you the following: batch 201 would have been produced in late February of 1932 and serial number 88368 would have shipped in March of 1932. This means that the L-5 guitar in question was built then shipped immediately.”

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88383

FON:

Year shipped: 1932Headstock:

 

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88429

(See Type Three Gallery)

Year shipped: 1932

FON:

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson' script logo, original tuners replaced with Schallers. Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end. Pearloid blocks inlays beginning at the first fret

Body: Maple back and sides, solid tonebars

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including regular trapeze tailpiece. Long, bound pickguard

 

Notes: Reset the neck and refret

 

Images courtesy of Schoenberg Guitars (www.om28.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88439

(See Type Three Gallery)

Year shipped: 1932

FON:

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘ Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with square end and pearl block inlays from the first fret

Body: Solid tone bars

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece, long bound pickguard, three non-original tuners

 

Notes: Three of the tuners are replacements. Has original case

 

Images courtesy of: Larry Wexer  (wexerguitars.com)

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88484

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: n/a

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and narrow pearl block inlays from the first fret (see below)

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard

 

Notes: This guitar was an export model that was originally sold in Canada (has "made in the USA" stamped on the rear of the headstock). Formerly owned by John Entwhistle of the Who.

 

It seems likely that the fingerboard was replaced in the mid 1930s (André Duchossoir confirms that the guitar was returned to the Gibson factory by Canadian dealer Ed Archambault)

 

Source: Vintage and Rare Guitars

 

Model: L-5

Year shipped: 1932

Serial Number: 88784

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: illegible

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, open gear Grover G-98 tuners with metal ‘butterbean’ buttons

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

Body: maple back with maple sides. Top braces are solid (not kerfed). There is one repaired top crack on the upper bout, treble side

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, trapeze tailpiece

Notes: pickguard is missing and the guitar has been refretted

 

Source: Jonathan Stout

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88786

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: Illegible

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

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

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard

 

Notes: From the personal collection of George Gruhn

 

Source: Gruhn Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 8889

FON: n/a

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo, the name ‘Drowsy Waters’ is engraved on the truss rod cover

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide block inlays from the third fret (no inlay at the 17th fret). There is a small crack across the neck heel

Body: several hairline body cracks

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece, replacement tuners and pickguard, ebony bridge

 

Notes: White oval label, no inlay at 17th fret

 

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 88891

FON:

Year shipped: 1932

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: Block inlays

Body:

Hardware:

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Updated 19/08/2018

 

 

 

Model: L-5

 

 

 

Serial Number: 89209

 

 

 

FON:

 

 

 

Year shipped: 1932

 

 

 

Headstock:

 

Neck/fingerboard:

 

Body:

 

Hardware:

 

 

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com