Gretsch Guitar Headstock Logos
Although Gretsch stuck with one logo for most of their postwar guitars, there were some exceptions. Oddball logos show up frequently before World War II, and the Baldwin-era guitars also throw a few curves. Pre-war guitars often have a headstock with a bulbous lump on the end, but there are many variations and exceptions.
One of Gretsch's earliest logos, as seen here, was first trademarked in 1912. Because Gretsch made few — if any — guitars during this period, this logo is rarely seen, and may have never been used on guitars. It was definitely used on banjos, ukeleles and other instruments.
In 1928, Gretsch registered this logo and shortly thereafter began putting it on drums and banjos. At this point, the company still made very few guitars.
Some of Gretsch's lower-priced instruments, including some guitars and many ukeleles in the '30s and '40s appeared with the decal logo shown here. While some later instruments, notably Clippers, would use a decal for the logo. This logo style is not found after the 1930s.
Gretsch's best known logo actually has numerous small variations, but the basic design first appeared in 1939. It came into regular use on guitars in about 1955 and has appeared in some form on most instruments since then.
Prior to 1955, many guitars (and other Gretsch instruments) used either a "Banner" logo, where logo was in a banner on the headstock, or the "Script" logo, as seen on many Synchromatic and Electromatic guitars prior to 1955.
Some models made between 1958 and 1970 also have a square metal plate screwed on the headstock and engraved with the model name and, sometimes, the serial number. Among the models found with these plates were the White Falcon, Country Gentleman, Anniversary and Double Anniversary, Tennesseean, Nashville, Viking, Monkees, Van Eps, Roc Jet and Streamliner.