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The Month In Guitar – November – Gibson E-150 (1935)

17 November 2009 Leave a comment

e-150Although there seems to be some argument over whether Gibson’s first ever electric guitar, the E-150 shipped in October or November of 1935, since this is November, I’m going to hang my hat on that month (purely for the lazy purposes of including it in this article).

Heavily influenced by Rickenbacker’s ‘Frying Pan’ which was released in 1932, the E-150 was at least somewhat guitar-shaped.  Riding on the Hawaiian wave, the E-150 had a cast-aluminium body and ebony fingerboard (although that pictured is unusual with a rosewood board) with white fret ‘markers’ (i.e. essentially just flush lines where the frets would be – there are no frets on these guitars).

Two bakelite knobs handled controls for the Charlie Christian-style pickup.

In the following year, the same instrument, but with a wooden body, was released as the EH-150 (EH is Electric Hawaiian).  The EH had a more traditional Gibson look but this has the honour of being the first Gibson electric.

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
This article is listed under: Featured, The Month In Guitar

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