Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1952 Gibson L-50

FON Z1974-13. Here's a guitar that was brought to us recently by the fellow who bought it new in 1952, when he was 11 years old. He wanted to play guitar, but the only way he was going to get one was to buy it himself. And that's what he did. But it took a summer of collecting dew worms each morning to sell to fishermen on the shore of Ontario's Lake Simcoe. The worms were priced at one and a half cents each, and the guitar set him back $120 in '52. That's some eight thousand dew worms -- each picked out of the ground by hand. Given the inflation of guitar prices versus that of dew worms over the last 60 or so years, we'd not suggest this particular guitar acquisition strategy these days.

In any case, he bought his L-50 and played in a band with it throughout the next ten years or so. Then real life set in, and the guitar was set aside.

It has remained in excellent condition and is completely original but for a set of good looking replacement tuner buttons and the endpin. The guitar's finish and frets show barely any playwear, and the instrument's neck angle and top arch are perfect. The nut has never been removed, bridge is unmodified, and tailpiece is in perfect working order. The guitar's only flaw is a small crack at the bottom of the bass-side F-hole -- and it's just been repaired in our shop.

Set-up by us, the guitar plays very nicely.

16" body with carved spruce top and laminate maple back and sides, mahogany neck with bound rosewood fingerboard. Pearloid trapezoid fingerboard inlays, 5-ply bevelled edge pickguard, white body bindings and sunburst finish top. Round neck carve, 1-11/16" nut, 24.75" scale.

With original chipboard case

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