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From 1902 to 1976, Gibson instruments have a serial number or a FON (Factory Order Number) or both.However, in the beginning this was not done consistently, so that there are also be instruments without identification.By 1958, Gibson had replaced the Kluson tuners with Grover Rotomatics.Gibson has used various methods of numbering from 1900, so it is not simply based on the serial number to identify the year of manufacture..I read on a Gibson forum that, on seven-digit pot codes, the fourth and fifth numbers represent the date.
If follows there is a third letter E, it stands for Electric.The "Split Diamond" inlay on the headstock was taken from the carved archtop Super 400, The frets are low and flat, as opposed to the usual medium jumbo frets found on other Les Paul customs, and the guitar soon was given the nickname "The Fretless Wonder".The 1954 Les Paul Custom also saw the introduction of Gibson's new bridge, the ABR-1.Gibson was owned by the Norlin corporation from 1969 to 1986. Initially, the company produced only Orville Gibson's original designs.In 1986, the company was acquired by its present owners. In 1936 Gibson introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150 followed by other electric instruments like steel guitars, banjos and mandolins.