I see a lot of "Gibson Flatiron" mandolins advertised, including in the classifieds on this site. Seems to me it should be one or the other. Once Gibson acquired the company, it should be Gibson, before that Flatiron. Pick one. I stand to be corrected!
Gibson is a company, Flatiron was a company and then a brand. I think if it's acalled a Gibson Flatiron that means the ones built with Flatiron on the headstock in Nashville after Gibson bought them out... #Then the Flatirons were competing against Gibsons regular line so they went away only to be reborn as an imported model.
EDIT: After reading Mike's post I'm glad I said, I think....
I have a Gibson Flatiron that was built in Montana. The Gibson Flatiron designation simply separates them from the Flatiron's built before Gibson bought the company.
At the risk of repeating myself:
New Nash-Flatson (prototype issue only - quite rare)
Yeah, it bugs me too, but not to the point that I worry about it.
Those are all "Flatirons" to me, the ones built in Boseman. I have to be careful where and when I say that though. Once when someone was showing me his F5L, I said "is that a Flatiron?" meaning was it built in the Flatiron shop in Montana as opposed to the Nashville shop, and was sternly corrected; "NO, it's GIBSON!!"
Part of the source of "confusion" is the fact that when Gibson bought Flatiron, Flatiron went from producing something like 12 Flatiron mandolins per month to producing 12 Flatirons and 12 Gibsons per month. Those Gibson mandolins that were built by Flatiron are usually known as "Gibson Flatirons". In my way of thinking the Gibsons made then are "Flatiron Gibsons" and the flatirons are...Flatirons.
I see the "Martin/Sigma" thing as a similar situation. In both cases, owners want the instrument known by the name that they feel commands the most respect, but in one case it's the name that's on the peghead and in the other it's not.
Somebody seems to have forgotten about Kalamazoo. That's where the real Gibsons were made.
It bugs me when they drop other names in there to increase their e-bay hits. You can now bid on a "Weber Tinkling Dog Gibson". Yikes.
I guess you could call mine a Gibson Flatiron Weber, since Bruce the label. All I know is that it sounds and plays great! When I bought it new in '95, Mando Bros had 5 in stock, and I was 1,500 miles away. I asked the sales rep (Larry Wexer)to tune up all five and send me the best sounding one. I believe you could do this with five of any makers instruments and find one that stands out, to you.
It don't bother me a bit cuz I got the real deal F5 #85080.051(SC)
And then there was that puny pancake mandolin offering in Gnashville in the '90s; I heard a bunch of folks got disappointed by that gimmick.
The ones made in China are the ones that sorta bug me.
I bought a Flat Tire Iron. I think I got ripped off.
I don't worry about this a lot, just thought a Gibson should be called a Gibson and a Flatiron a Flatiron. My Gibson is a Kalamazoo Gibson, not to be confused with a Kalamazoo, but I just call it a Gibson.
Some of the tricks used to increase hits on ebay are a hoot - "Gibson strings" is my favourite.