The first Trojan shipped in October of 1936 and was marked in the Gibson Shipping ledgers as “Trojan.”  This guitar has now been confirmed in the old Gibson ledgers as a Trojan shipped on November 26, 1936.  A gentlemen posted about this guitar on the Gibson forum and was kind enough to send me a bunch of pictures.

The Gibson Trojan preceded the J-35 by a couple of months (October to December, 1936).  This Gibson Trojan matches all the features for a 1937 J-35 with the exception of a couple of key things.  The main difference is the lack of back binding.  J-35s were introduced with a single layer of binding on the back which this guitar lacks.
It also has 3 scalloped tone bars.  The standard J-35 would most likely have had 3 unscalloped tone bars.  I’m very curious about the tone of this guitar.  I’m going to guess that this thing is awesome.  Just wait until you scroll down and see the deep scallops.  Amazing.
The Ebony nut is cool but not entirely out of line.  It could have been Ebony or bone but either one would work.  It’s just another aspect of this guitar that makes it so darn cool.

This guitar was made for export as evidenced by the “Made In USA” stamp on the back of the head stock.  This was fairly common at the time.  My 1937 Gibson L-00 had the same stamp and Grover branded open back tuners.  It also had the same pumpkin colored sunburst on the top but did have back binding.
I hope you enjoyed taking a look at this beauty.  Many thanks to the owner for letting me post about it.
Hear it:
Do you have one of these that you would like to sell?  I’m looking for one.  Please email me about what you have for sale.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Noel Reply

    I have one. In great shape. Plays great. No back binding. Right measurements. Tapers 1 inch from end piec to neck. Oddly no serial number, but it’s a trojan. Gibson thought it was a J-35, but this has no back binding and plastic tuning keys.

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