Gibson 1942 ES125

Gibson 1942 ES125 & 1941 EH150 amplifier

The Gibson ES125 started out as the 1938 Electric Spanish, ES100. The ES100 derived its name from the price of the guitar & case, $55.00, plus the EH100 amplifier $55.00 for a total of $110, or rounded down to just $100 to make the EH100.

Shortly after the new EH100 appeared in the October 1, 1940 Catalog Supplement to Catalog AA, the price was raised and it was named the ES125 for the complete guitar, case and ES100 amplifier set.

Gibson electrical instrument production ceased somewhere around 1943 due to the war. The U.S. entered WWII on December 8, 1941...just one day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, the country became active in the war effort. The Gibson instrument factory was thrust into the war effort, as well (making airplane skids and submachine gun parts). Because metal was scarce as well as most other materials used in guitar production, Gibson electrics were put on hold until after the war.

Once the war was over Gibson started designing new electrics, including the newer ES125, ES150 & ES300....all outfitted with a newer plastic covered P-90 pickup.

To sum up, the ES125 turned out to be a very popular student model throughout the 1950's until production ceased in the 1960's. The interesting fact is that the ES100/125 has a very colorful background and this page attributes the beginning of the ES125.



1942 ES125. Scale length 19 1/4" long by 14 3/4" wide, compared to its relative, the ES150 measuring 20 1/4" X 16 1/4" wide. The body will widen to 16 3/4" post-war.
New metal covered alnico pickup with adjustable pole pieces. A modern departure from the large double magnet bar pickup from the '30's.
Close-up of the revolutionary new pickup for the early 1940's.
Fitted with original, period correct ES100 bakelite knobs.
Tailpiece #980 used on the 1940-'43 ES100/125.
1942 Gibson Catalog BB.
ES125 & case.
Gibson 1942 ES125 case.

Evolution of 1938 ES100 name change to ES125

1938 Catalog Z

Introduction of ES100 in 1938 Catalog Z.

1939 Catalog AA

1939 Gibson Catalog AA. 2nd appearance of ES100 in a catalog.

1940 October 1, 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA

Oct. 1,1940 Supplement to Catalog 1939 AA. The ES100 name will change to ES125 shortly.

1942 Catalog BB

1942 Catalog BB references the new ES100 as the ES125.
1942 Catalog BB description of the ES125.
FON 7469H signifies this model as being produced in 1941.
1942 ES125 with screenprinted 'Gibson' logo.
Kluson 'strip' tuners. Name derived from the 3 tuners on a plate, or strip rather than individual tuners. A great sign of a budget model.
Back of the 16 1/4" ES150 and the 14 3/4" ES125.
ES125 & case.