Gibson 1941 ES150
The early 1940's Gibson ES150 made quite a departure from the 1936-1939 'Charlie Christian' ES150, both in looks and electronics. Starting in late 1939/1940 Gibson began experimenting with smaller and stronger ALNICO, (aluminum, nickel, cobalt) magnets for use in their pickups (a brief history about Gibson's pickups can be found on the 'Gibson Prewar Electric Guitars' page). The end result was two small alnico magnets disguised under metal with six adjustable pole pieces. The pickup was much smaller than the original 'Charlie Christian' bar pickup and could be mounted quite easily to the top of a guitar body without being too ' weighty'. This new pickup was used on the 1940-1943 ES150 and ES100/125 models. The same metal style was used on the EH100 for the period, just without the six pole pieces and was known as the P-13. The following photos will give a little insight to the newer ES150. Note that I have three ES150's photographed. The one next to this text is 100% original with original factory finish. Of the other two, one has overspray (an extra coat of laquer someone sprayed on it somewhere in its 70 year life....the other is quite beat-up). This model, for some reason is extremely difficult to find in its original state. Most have cracks (like the 2nd/3rd model) and either have various swapped out parts, refinishes, overspray or all of the above. In any case, this is one of my favorite models to play. The 16 1/4" body is a great size, the small frets and rosewood fingerboard have a great feel and the pickup sounds awesome through a modern amp with or without distortion!
One other curious note. The ES150 and ES100/125 were never given serial numbers. Just FON, factory order numbers stamped, usually with purple/blue ink inside the treble f-hole inside the body on the 1940-1943 models....the FON was pressed onto the back of the headstock in the 1930's models. My 100% model has the letter G stamped inside, thus signifying 1941.