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  1. #1

    1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    The recent thread regarding the 1955-1956 Les Paul Junior black serial numbers prompted me to post this question.

    I have owned a 1955 Junior for many years, and purchased it from the original owner in Canada.

    In the photo below, you can see the faint "MADE IN THE USA" stamp above the serial number - something that Gibson did from the late 1920s thru the 1950s on guitars slated for export outside of the United States.

    One thing I've often wondered - - what is the significance of the impressed letter/number code (H 499) on the top edge of the headstock?

    Was this done at the factory?

    Could it be an inventory number that was applied by the music store?

    Have any of you ever seen an impressed letter/number code like this on other Gibson guitars?

    Any information is much appreciated.

    Thanks,


  2. #2
    yeti
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Yeah, my friend bought a 52 Goldtop in 1984 and it has a number that shouldn't be there. I mentioned it in an earlier thread but nobody had any real clues as to it's origin.
    Here's a pic

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by 1955Junior View Post
    The recent thread regarding the 1955-1956 Les Paul Junior black serial numbers prompted me to post this question.

    I have owned a 1955 Junior for many years, and purchased it from the original owner in Canada.

    In the photo below, you can see the faint "MADE IN THE USA" stamp above the serial number - something that Gibson did from the late 1920s thru the 1950s on guitars slated for export outside of the United States.

    One thing I've often wondered - - what is the significance of the impressed letter/number code (H 499) on the top edge of the headstock?

    Was this done at the factory?

    Could it be an inventory number that was applied by the music store?

    Have any of you ever seen an impressed letter/number code like this on other Gibson guitars?

    Any information is much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    I doubt that left the factory that way.
    Perhaps someone [like the military] marked them after purchase.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    See the USA just abouve the ink stamp. I think this was a dealer run or order.
    Top carves are sexy

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member mingus's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    It's fairly common to see "made in USA" stamped on American made guitars of this era that were originally exported. I currently have a '55 Martin D-28 with the same stamp on back of the headstock that went to Canada.

    I think Tom is correct that the other stamp on the edge may have been some sort of inventory number, possibly for the military (or maybe a college/university).
    .

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

    - Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes".

  6. #6

    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    I could swear I have seen that guitar somewhere! And maybe have even played it.

  7. #7

    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by retrobob View Post
    I could swear I have seen that guitar somewhere! And maybe have even played it.
    I believe that you have Retrobob

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member thegreengod's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by 1955Junior View Post
    The recent thread regarding the 1955-1956 Les Paul Junior black serial numbers prompted me to post this question.

    I have owned a 1955 Junior for many years, and purchased it from the original owner in Canada.

    In the photo below, you can see the faint "MADE IN THE USA" stamp above the serial number - something that Gibson did from the late 1920s thru the 1950s on guitars slated for export outside of the United States.

    One thing I've often wondered - - what is the significance of the impressed letter/number code (H 499) on the top edge of the headstock?

    Was this done at the factory?

    Could it be an inventory number that was applied by the music store?

    Have any of you ever seen an impressed letter/number code like this on other Gibson guitars?

    Any information is much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Can you tell us more about the guitar's history and observations of its tone from playing it all these years. Love hearing stories of old LP Jrs. Thanks

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreengod View Post
    Can you tell us more about the guitar's history and observations of its tone from playing it all these years. Love hearing stories of old LP Jrs. Thanks
    Do you realize that post is almost 5 years old?
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member thegreengod's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Do you realize that post is almost 5 years old?
    Thanks Tom Newbe here so just getting my feet wet. Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreengod View Post
    Thanks Tom Newbe here so just getting my feet wet. Thanks for the info.
    This happens often enough.
    And sometimes it restarts the thread.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member RSVG&A's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    I had a 1951 J200 for many years that had an impression stamp on the top of the headstock. Was told it went back to the factory in early '53 for some neck work so its possible its a repair serial.
    IMG_8577_zps5f75e174.jpg

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Whatever any significance the number may have, they did at least 499 like that.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member abalonevintage's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Whatever any significance the number may have, they did at least 499 like that.
    I think that's a stamp for military personnel. I think the number could have been used on anything...guitars, golf clubs, stereos.

    This guitar was used by a service member IN Korea.



    "Quilty, until proven innocent."

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    Quote Originally Posted by abalonevintage View Post
    I think that's a stamp for military personnel. I think the number could have been used on anything...guitars, golf clubs, stereos.

    This guitar was used by a service member IN Korea.



    I think you're correct about your supplied photos. Former USAF here.........the convention followed for the numbering of that guitar is: (1) the initial of the service member's last name; (2) followed by the last four digits of his/her social security number.

    We marked many of our possessions following that convention at Basic Military Training.

    However, the guitar photo provided by the OP does not follow the military numbering convention that I'm aware of. H499 does not follow the convention.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1955 Les Paul Junior - Stamp on Top Edge of Headstock

    ^^^^^ That "R 3577" was a personal stamp used by a member of the military to identify personal items....from uniforms to guitars..whatever.
    AS for that Canadian Gibson....that is another matter, but one would think that it is an I.D. number that was applied for some reason...oh yeah...for identification. LOL....
    And this thread is 6 1/2 years old. Fwiw, I believe that that number was stamped sometime later in the guitar's life because it looks too fresh to have been old at the time of the photo. The rest of the 'disturbed' lacquer shows a darker color due to the influence of oils and dirt than does the stamped lacquer.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

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