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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Does any of you special Les Paul Affinicados have information when exactley they started Serial Numbering the Les Paul Gold Top guitars on the Headstock in the factory back in 1953?
    In my opinion it's hardly believeable that this took place right away on January 1st 1953.
    Also would they have started with Number 3 0001 ?
    Interestingly none of the known literature mentions a start date all only mention it started in 1953.
    It would be interesting to have pot codes data of non serial # guitars from 1953. Are there any?
    When did they started to use the pokerchip (Rhythm/Treble Ring)
    May be Walter Carter or any older former Gibson Kalamazoo Employees have more precise Infornation?
    The guitar started its market entry in March 1952 and 1716 guitars were shipped until December 31st.
    That makes around 170 guitars average per Month for 1952 vs 187 guitars monthly for 1953 (2245 total)
    So it could be realistic to assume it took around 1 working week to complete a rack of 40 Guitars...
    26th week 1953 (22nd of June) would be the time of the Summer Namm Show so would it be realistic to assume the new Gold Top Les Paul had received the new serial # scheme Stamps by then? (Around no 3 1050?)
    Anyway this could be a totally wrong assumption as they probably produced periodically after Dealer Orders. Also it is likely that the new Solidbody Serial Number System was also used at least for Lapsteels like the BR-9 and the Royaltone. What do you think or know?
    Last edited by FlyingFred67; 02-13-17 at 07:43 AM.

    Cheers your´s
    Flying Fred

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    The serial number question and the other questions about Les Paul Goldtops have come up several times and the answer is usually WhoTF knows?

    There are serial #s in the 0500 - 1000 range, I don't remember if anybody has posted a serial under 0500 - PLEASE post any pics if I've forgotten. The serials may have started with 3 0501 or even 3 0101; I doubt if they started with 3 0001 but who knows?

    FWIW - Gibson bought a HUGE number of pots in mid-1953 and they were used well into mid-1954 or even late 1954.




    BTW - a factory-original, no-serial 1953 trapeze Les Paul would probably have 1952 pots and therefore be indiscernible from a 1952. The only telling 1953 thing, the poker chip, IMO came further into 1953 and was easily broken or lost.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    There are serial #s in the 0500 - 1000 range, I don't remember if anybody has posted a serial under 0500 - PLEASE post any pics if I've forgotten. The serials may have started with 3 0501 or even 3 0101; I doubt if they started with 3 0001 but who knows

    BTW - a factory-original, no-serial 1953 trapeze Les Paul would probably have 1952 pots and therefore be indiscernible from a 1952. The only telling 1953 thing, the poker chip, IMO came further into 1953 and was easily broken or lost.
    Very interesting thoughts and information! Thank you!
    I never saw a 1953 Serial under 1300s and I owned a 53 Allgold with LP Trapeze around 15 years ago which was in the 1620 Range. I saw a non serial GT with Centralab pots dated 20 th week of 53 and grey Tiger caps recentky which looked untouched solder. After your comment it seems more likely that these were retrofitted to the guitar. Another early one with tall knobs but already Fretboard Binding of a friend of mine still has IRC Pots dated 18 th week of 1952. Hmm I think there could be interesting results if there were a data base about those early LP's ! Funny that it obviously doesn't exist as much more LP Std guitars were produced in these first 2 years than later.

    Cheers your´s
    Flying Fred

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Progear's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    My '53 is stamped 3-093*, with wrap around tail peice studs/bigsby.. I don't know my pots ID numbers.
    Music for me.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingFred67 View Post
    I saw a non serial GT with Centralab pots dated 20 th week of 53 and grey Tiger caps recentky which looked untouched solder. After your comment it seems more likely that these were retrofitted to the guitar.
    ... or it lost it's serial number along the way.

    My impression is that they decided to do serial numbers within the first month or 2 of 1953. A May or later guitar (pots 20th week) should have a serial number IMO.

    I used to have one around 3 175x and it had a wraptail, poker chip, trap ground channel route, and totally flat neck angle.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    There's also another level of 52's and early 53's that had stamps on top of the mustache as a form of serial numbers. After producing quite a few 52's Gibson used as a way of keeping track. I've had 2 of them, unfortunately I didnt take pictures. I think its a pretty good correlation of serials to wraptails/pokerchip starting. Rev has the best info on the serial database.
    Top carves are sexy

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Makes sense! Thanks Rev and Maple Flame!!

    Cheers your´s
    Flying Fred

  8. #8

    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by MapleFlame View Post
    There's also another level of 52's and early 53's that had stamps on top of the mustache as a form of serial numbers. After producing quite a few 52's Gibson used as a way of keeping track. I've had 2 of them, unfortunately I didnt take pictures. I think its a pretty good correlation of serials to wraptails/pokerchip starting. Rev has the best info on the serial database.
    My 1952 has a stamped headstock. You guys think it was down by Gibson?
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  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swank View Post
    My 1952 has a stamped headstock. You guys think it was down by Gibson?
    My guess is no. The indent is too crude for me to think Gibson applied that.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  10. #10

    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Link to relevant thread: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...e-of-Headstock

    There's a nice picture at the top of the thread.
    The guesses regarding the origin of such stamps are inventory numbers for either a University or the Military or for export.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11

    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    Link to relevant thread: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...e-of-Headstock

    There's a nice picture at the top of the thread.
    The guesses regarding the origin of such stamps are inventory numbers for either a University or the Military or for export.

    Thanks! I’ve heard this theory before, which makes sense but the guitar I got was a one owner, I don’t know if that is true or not, but that’s what I was told

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swank View Post
    Thanks! I’ve heard this theory before, which makes sense but the guitar I got was a one owner, I don’t know if that is true or not, but that’s what I was told
    Another theory is that some stores added numbers, since they had no serial numbers.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    why did Gibson release almost 2 years of a model without a serial number to begin with? did they do that with any other model?

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmi View Post
    why did Gibson release almost 2 years of a model without a serial number to begin with? did they do that with any other model?
    Many.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  15. #15

    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmi View Post
    why did Gibson release almost 2 years of a model without a serial number to begin with? did they do that with any other model?

    I feel a lot of the early hollow bodies at least had FON -

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Which month did they start using Serial No Stamps on the LP GT Headstock in 1953?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Many.
    By the 50s? This was a major model with celebrity endorsement not a beginner model. Always been surprised is all.

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