Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

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1934

 

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

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90140

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 696 (possibly 969)

Shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:  Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with a square end and pearloid block inlays starting at the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts and ebony bridge. The truss-rod cover, trapeze tailpiece and pickguard are replacements and a strap hanger has been added. The tuners also appear to be non-original

Source: Lewis Thomas

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90204

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, non-original – but period correct - Grover 98G tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 19-fret fingerboard with a pointed end and dot markers from the fifth fret

Body: maple back with maple sides

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard

Notes: There are two small cracks in the top and a small, repaired crack in the back

Source: Gryphon Stringed Instruments (gryphonstrings.com)

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90206

FON: 642

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

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

Body:

Hardware: all hardware is missing

Notes: missing hardware, bridge and pickguard, needs refret and repair to the top seam.

According To Joe Spann, the FON indicates that this guitar was manufactured July 1933 while the serial number shows that it was shipped January 1934

Source: Gruhn Guitars

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90208

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19-fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays from the first fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, trapeze tailpiece, ebony bridge and long pickguard

Notes: Luthier Ken Parker re-graduated and X-braced the top. In addition, the neck profile has been reduced and both the back of the body and neck have been refinished. The Sperzel tuners are replacements and the guitar has been fitted with a pickup

Source: Dutch Archtop Guitar Museum

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90293

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: Dot inlaid fingerboard

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90298

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: Block inlays from the third fret

Body: There is a small crack beneath the pickguard

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model L-5

Serial Number:  Appears to be 9030x but may be 9036x

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, individual gold-plated Grover 98G tuners

Neck/fingerboard:  pearl block inlays starting at the third fret, 19 fret fingerboard with square end

Body: maple back and sides

Hardware: gold plated metal parts, regular tailpiece and long pickguard

back in several places - this does not appear to be an official Gibson marking

Notes: If the serial number is 90366, this guitar was registered with the Gibson L-5 Club card on 25th April 1934. The original owner was Mr. Clifford Rausch of 1741 Grove Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Has original hardshell case.

Source: tcgae music

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90302

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90303

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: 19-fret ebony fingerboard with wide pearloid block inlays from the third fret

Body:

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

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90315

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: The original fingerboard - which would have had block markers - has been replaced with a dot inlaid board

Body: There are a few small touch-ups to the guitar's finish and the front and back of the headstock have been over-sprayed

Hardware: The long celluloid pickguard is original but the nickel-plated Waverly tuners and trapeze tailpiece are replacements (a later style solid L-5 tailpiece appears to have been mounted to the guitar at some point)

Source: Musurgia

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90366

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Notes: This guitar was registered with the Gibson L-5 Club card on 25th April 1934. The original owner was Mr. Clifford Rausch of 1741 Grove Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Source: Gibson L-5 Club membership card

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 90405

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 322

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:  Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo Individual Grover tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with a square end and narrow block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Ebony bridge, gold-plated hardware

Notes: This L-5 was formerly owned by jazz guitarist Al Avola. It has been refretted and fitted with a replacement pickguard

Source: Gruhn Guitars (guitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90502

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: Block inlaid fingerboard

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90505

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 812

Year shipped: 1934

Notes: Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo,

 

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

Body:

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

Source: Craig Brody of guitarbroker.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90693

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90729

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 883

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo

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

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: gold-plated hardware including regular trapeze tailpiece and three-on-a-strip Waverly tuners with pearl buttons and engraved baseplate. Repro long pickguard

Notes: Has original hardshell case and the original bill of sale - it was sold by Crawford's Radio & Music Shop in Bremerton, WA on June 11th 1934. The original price was $176 for which the new owner paid 11 payments of $14.65 and 1 final payment of $14.85

Source: Dexter Johnson, Carmel Music Co. (carmelmusic.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90840

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, replacement Waverly tuners

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

Body: maple back with maple sides

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard

Notes: has a patched jack hole in the side and the original pickguard is showing signs of celluloid rot

Source: Gryphon Stringed Instruments

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90841

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90865 (possibly 90365)

FON: n/a

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:  16-inch body

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, pickguard missing and replacement truss rod cover

Notes: Repair to end block and top seam and DeArmond pickup fitted

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 90901

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 792

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: See below

Body: See below

Hardware: See below

Notes: This guitar was converted to an electric in the 1950s and it was later re-converted to acoustic. It had also been heavily "varnished", and it was unplayable by the time the current owner purchased it.

It was recently restored by luthier Michael Heiden with a new dot inlaid fingerboard (the fingerboard originally had block inlays), Grover 18:1 Sta-Tite Gold tuners and a  black top finish with sunburst back, sides and neck

Source: Richard Poitras

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90905

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, individual Grover 98G tuners

Neck/fingerboard:  block inlays starting at the third fret, 19 fret fingerboard with square end

Body: maple back and sides

Hardware: gold plated metal parts, regular tailpiece and long pickguard

Notes: Has original hardshell case

Source: Intermountain Guitar and Banjo (guitarandbanjo.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90983

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90997

(See Type Three Gallery

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' logo,

Neck/fingerboard:  19 fret fingerboard with square end and pearl (pearloid?) block inlays from the third fret

Body: 16-inch body, refinished.

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners, regular tailpiece and long replacement pickguard by Mirabella

Source: Cory Brackett at Rudy's Music (in collection of Dr Christopher McKee)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 90999

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Years shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:  Horizontal 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with a square end and pearloid block inlays from the third fret

Body:

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

Notes: Belongs to guitarist Mark Goldenberg

Source: Mark Goldenberg

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91053

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91100

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo, the name ‘Frank M. Scully’ is engraved on the truss rod cover. Though the Grover 98G tuners are period correct, two have a slightly different patina from the rest (the gold is shinier and less dark) and these may have been replaced at some point

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with square end and pearl block inlays from the third fret. Bone nut

Body: 16-inch body

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual Grover tuners, regular trapeze tailpiece. The pickguard and bracket are missing and the bridge is a replacement

Notes: There is a five-inch long grain crack on the back beneath the treble-side f-hole. This has been solidly repaired but is visible with some light touch-up. The guitar has been refretted and the neck has been reset

Has original hard shell case

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions and Musurgia

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91166

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 948

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

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

Body: 16-inch body with maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual Grover 98G tuners, regular trapeze tailpiece. The bridge is a replacement (original bridge in case). The pickguard is also a replica

Notes: The guitar’s owner states: “though a piece appears to be missing from the flowerpot headstock inlay, it is all there beneath the finish but for some reason was never scraped.”

Source: Name withheld

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91345

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91389

FON:

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 91122

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 947

Year shipped: 1934

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo, some binding missing

Neck/fingerboard: Replacement 19 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end (the original fingerboard would have had pearl block inlays)

Body: 16-inch body with maple back and sides

Hardware: : Gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece, individual Grover 98G tuners, replica pickguard

Notes: The dot-inlaid replacement fingerboard was installed at Gruhn Guitars, who also fitted the replica pickguard. Has original redline hardshell case

Source: Gruhn Guitars (guitars.com) and Lane Comeaux at Dying Breed Guitars (dyingbreedguitars.com)