Gibson 1940 ETG150 Electric Tenor Guitar
The above photo was taken from Gibson's Mastertone System For Steel Guitar, 1940. The system consists of four parts, each part with 12 sheets of music lessons and songs. The entire system maybe viewed by clicking Gibson Music Books. This is the only photo to capture the 4 string Electric Tenor Guitar, ETG150 (far right). The ETG150 is fairly rare with approximately 95 produced between 1937-1942.
The above photo of the ETG150 & ETB150 depicts two of Gibson's first electric instruments that are not commonly seen. Compared with the photo directly below, the ETG150 above has a couple of differences, including a beautiful pearl inlay in the headstock and fancy pearl inlay markers on the fingerboard, much like a '30's L7. The pickguard is the original notched 'Charlie Christian' style used from '37-'39 on the famous ES150 . The plain tailpiece has been upgraded with an early designed Vib Rola.
As stated above, you may notice a few differences between the pictured ETG-150 that I have versus the regular one in the photo.
I asked Joe Spann about this and he replied that my, '1940 ETG-150 has the peghead overlay and fingerboard inlays from a Gibson Mastertone style 5 banjo (produced 1925-1928). Aumann Brothers of Detroit made up these overlays and fingerboards far in advance of production and when the banjo craze died about 1932 they had plenty of overstock on hand. These same sets turn up in later models of the L-Century guitar among others. The original tenor banjo fingerboard was sawed up and the inlaid positions cut down into rectangular sections which could then be inlaid quite easily into the guitar fingerboards. Gibson never threw anything away that could be reused.'
EST150 Name Change to ETG150 in October 1, 1940
October 1, 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA
An exact model to the famous 1936 ES150 'Charlie Christian' model, except for the 4 strings vs. 6 strings. The ES150 guitar (RT) was first introduced and cataloged in Catalog x, 1937, with no mention of the tenor version until Catalog Y, 1938. The tenor version was then cataloged up to 1942's Catalog BB. There were never cataloged photos of the ETG150.