Vintage Gibson Factory Order Numbers or How to date my vintage Gibson guitar
Posted on January 23 2015
Unlike Martin, Gibson only applied actual serial numbers to the higher end of their product line until 1962. In lieu of a serial number, Gibson used the Factory Order Number system to keep record of their production numbers and shipping. Much to a historian's dismay, Gibson was not preoccupied with strict record keeping so it's difficult to use the FON system to date your vintage Gibson acoustic guitar, vintage Gibson electric guitar, or other instrument. The neck block of this 1935 Gibson L-00 acoustic guitar gives us a good example of the FON system. The FON of this instrument is 386A which was assigned to a batch of both L-00 guitars and TG-00 tenor guitars manufactured in 1935. Gibson used instrument holding racks that had 40 slots according to pictures of the racks from the time period. Guitars were usually produced in batches of at least 5 for higher end, low production models to 120 in later years for standard models. There's another number below the batch number that I call the rack number (30). This number is usually written by hand with red pencil and it indicates the position in the rack that this guitar was made. This L-00 was the 30th guitar in the rack. Are you wondering "how to date my vintage Gibson guitar" or "how old is my vintage Gibson acoustic guitar" or "how old is my vintage Gibson electric guitar"? I would be happy to help you with that information. Click the link to my Buying Page and fill out the contact for with the necessary information. Are you looking for a vintage guitar buyer or "who buys vintage guitars in the US" or "how to sell my vintage guitar"? Click the link and fill out the form to send me information on your vintage guitar. I'm always looking for vintage Gibson, Martin, Fender and Epiphone guitars and amplifiers.