Other Guitars

A Peek Inside 1930s Technology


I'm (finally) having my newly-acquired mid-'30s Gibson lap steel gone through, cleaned up, and re-strung, and Pharaoh (yes, that's really his name), the tech who's working on it, has been sending me pictures of the innards as he goes.

This is the outside:

Here are the volume and tone controls:

And my personal favorite, the output jack:


Well back then in the 30s Giibson and Rickenbacker were making cool little steels and little 10 watt amps..

I still kinda think the solid body electric evolved from lap steels. So after WWII Leo gets in the game making this same kind of stuff, which he did string-thru-body style and then took that string thru body steel trip and just expanded it in to a guitar using same parts... pickup, knobs, etc.


Cool little guitar,thats a piece of history right there.


Beautiful - I always thought those EH (150? 185?) guitars look so cool!


That's great. Post sound clips when you get it back?


What a lovely thing that is.


I'm also having my ES-150 checked out and set up. He took pics of those innards, too.

But wait, there's more! I ran into Jonathan Stout tonight at Camp Hollywood (an annual swing dance festival) and I showed him the pictures, and mentioned it'll be done tomorrow. Then he said "Hey, bring yours tomorrow, I'm bringing my ES-150, my L-5 (acoustic), and (vintage) Epiphone, we can compare them all." He's playing tomorrow night with his orchestra, so getting to hang out with him and them on stage before the show will be cool. There will be pictures.


I love old mechanical things! I spend a huge chunk of my time these days repairing modern guitar amps and am always angered by the use of low quality junk pars that are basically disposable. All the bits on that beautiful instrument were built to last almost indefinitely.I miss the good ole daze!


I've been around electronic gear my whole life, my dad was a ham radio nut, and it was just natural to have a garage full of surplus parts, tubes, and whatever. But I've never seen 1/4" jacks like this before. All of this stuff was built to last, and built to be repaired when it needed it.

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