GIBSON CROMWELL 1939.
During the 1930's Gibson took to producing many
guitars in their factory without their own brand name . The American
economy was in a slump and in an effort to make their instruments more
they affordable Gibson introduced 'budget lines'.
To protect the brand name of Gibson and their
flagship models they promoted these budget line guitars under many
different sub-brands such as......Mastertone, Bellson , Recording King,
Kalamazoo. and Cromwell.
This Cromwell was built in 1939.
The Cromwell was built on the same workbenches, by
the same guitar builders as the L5 presented by Duke Ellington to Django
Reinhardt . However the building process was different. Where the top of
the range Gibson models would have a top carved from selected wood ,to
increase resonance ,with similar consideration given to the back ,for
the budget line models a process of pressing the wood into shape using
heat and steam was adopted.This
proved very effective being both durable and strong.
The f-holes of the time were not made to have a heavy bass end sound,they
were not expected to produce the 'boom' commonly associated with jumbo
body guitars such as the J200 ( first produced in 1938). The intention of
the 'f' shape sound holes was to enable the guitar to be heard cutting
through the brass instruments of the jazz bands. A role that previously
had been filled by the
The guitars were
stained, coloured with the finish that has become a by-word in the guitar world..Sunburst. Quite interesting that many years later it was still used on
This particular guitar has had the staining removed,
back to the natural wood. Surprisingly has revealed a nice piece of
timber . It looks great. I bought the guitar with this finish in 1969,
In fact when I first saw the guitar not knowing any better. I thought
this was the original finish. It looked that good .
The guitar is
basically the L5 shape, Grover machines, original bridge, can't remember
whether I ever had the pickguard.
upgraded,but before my time with the guitar. The case
is an old hard case, the same one that the fellow who had the guitar before me, used in his dance band days . I am sure that these guitars were
not sold with hard cases in the 1930's.The label inside the guitar is original. Did that person who stuck it on by hand
in 1939 imagine that we would be looking at their handiwork in 2017
What a tale this guitar could tell.
It is for sale for £850. If you have an interest in this
guitar please email me through this web site - on the contact page- and we will take from
Pleases click on this link to see & hear the guitar