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Thread: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

  1. #51
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Sugar Grove,PA
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    Default Re: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

    I agree parts, partials, complete instruments were laying around or you wouldn't get the #'s thing like your very nice comparative# chart above, and by other #'s we've seen? Look at the new found F-5 that I passed on buying and sent to CJ #85202 FON#9411, its an early 27? shipped in 29? Well in the same batch of only 6 known thus far, #90476 has the same FON# but shipped in 1934 and is a short Fern with the Block inlays. That's what well over 400 instruments later.

  2. #52
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    aiken, sc

    Default Re: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

    I hate to beat a dead horse here, but the reason for the discussion is to draw some sane conclusion between the relationship of FON's and serial numbers

    With all respect to Spanns research there are a few things that simply do not make sense and they are presented as fact. We are here to discuss this.

    Again, no offense to Joe, just simple observations. These observations only apply to a maybe 2 year period between 1923 and 1925. I am not arguing any other information

    A. "It appears that serial numbers for Loars were reserved". I say NOT. Their serial numbers run nicely with serials and FONs for all other instruments of the period. I say his information becomes correct and believable post-Loar

    B. Joe research claims that all of the 11800-11999ish FONs are 1923, and that in 1924 they added an "A" suffix, and all '24 instruments have the suffix. I say NOT. The suffix was added to existing FON parts made years before. It does not take a miracle thinker to scan his FON listings and find like kind instruments For example, from his own book FON 11067 is an 1917 F4 mandolin and 11067A is a 1924 F4. 11147 is an 1918 A style mandolin, 11147A is a 1924 A4 mandolin. There are not enough FONs listed for a full evaluation, but my money is on all the 11xxxA Tenor lutes being 1918 mandolas. And the 11xxxA A2z's being A3 mandolins from 1918. Additionally, his information would lead us to believe that all signed 1924 Loars were made in 1923 and none shipped out in '24. Catalog photos dispel any notion of that since '24 Loars are all over the 1924 catalog in photos

    C. So, with that being said, I propose that about half of his 1923 FON's are 1924 and that the 11987 FON found in Dec. 1, 1924 signed Loars is in alignment with a relatively straight line, matching FON/serial usage during 1924

    D. I own a 1923 A2 with FON 11865 and serial 73922. My Loar is a July 9, 1923 Serial 73992, exactly 70 serials later. I almost feel I need to take the Loar label out to prove that the FON is close to 11865.

    So, in closing I suggest that the A suffix was used along side of the 11987 type numbers in 1924 and into 1925. The "A" suffix was simply for financial accountability to in some fashion mean that the instrument cost less to manufacture and was not scratch built. Additionally, I think the A suffix was only applied to those instruments for which they had leftover stock. No F5 mandolin has that numbering sequence

    I also suggest that signed '24 Loars with their labels did not have those labels installed in 1925 and 1926 after Loar left. Who in their right mind would sell a new instrument with a dated label 2 years prior. Yes, we know that some did take several years to eventually sell. But I say the dates, the serials and FON's align on most all instruments made before this change in 1925 or so
    Last edited by Darryl Wolfe; Apr-01-2019 at 10:03am.
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal

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  4. #53

    Default Re: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

    'Fantastic discussion and responses by people I have tremendous respect for......

    "....If Lloyd is in today, tell him we need some labels." And six weeks later, on Mar. 31, "Tell Lloyd we need more labels... A lot more." A+

    Drop the "unicorns and fairy dust" perspective and you'll see a local company trying to do the best they could with limited resources and challenging economic times....

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  6. #54
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    40.191N -74.2W

    Default Re: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    Drop the "unicorns and fairy dust" perspective and you'll see a local company trying to do the best they could with limited resources and challenging economic times....
    Yup. I think that people lose site of the fact that Gibson was a manufacturing business first. What they did wasn't any different than any other business, they tried to be profitable. Look at the Gibson second lines from the early 30's and you realize they were pretty much sweeping the floor and using any parts they had to build those instrument. You'd see 20's era bridges on 30's guitars. This wasn't magic, it was logic. Darryl's explanation makes perfect sense in that context.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #55
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI.

    Default Re: Gibson Teens Serial Numbers

    I totally agree, the need for meeting production numbers and so on. It was a factory, they had to make money. Use what is there, make profit margin, minimize waste.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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