Gibson 1942 ES-125
The Gibson ES-125 started out as the 1938 Electric Spanish, ES-100. The ES-100 derived its name from the price of the guitar & case, $55.00, plus the EH-100 amplifier $55.00 for a total of $110, or rounded down to just $100 to make the EH-100.
Shortly after the new EH-100 appeared in the October 1, 1940's Supplement to Catalog AA, the price was raised and it was named the ES-125 for the complete guitar, case and ES-100 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. Visit the war and music supplies tab to get an idea about the war's effect on not just Gibson, but the entire music industry.
Once the war was over Gibson started designing new electrics, including the newer ES-125, ES-150 & ES-300....all outfitted with a newer plastic covered P-90 pickup.
To sum up, the ES-125 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 ES-100/125 has a very colorful background and this page attributes the beginning of the ES-125.
Note the knobs on this model. They are actually from an early '40's ES-150. Just look 3 photos down and you will see the actual square ended bakelite knobs which are now on this featured piece. Please visit Prewar bakelite Knobs to view all of the knobs Gibson used on their early collection.
Evolution of 1938 ES-100 name change to ES-125
1938 Catalog Z
1939 Catalog AA
1940 October 1, 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA
1942 Catalog BB
Both the original ES-100 (rt) and the ES-125 (lft) share many characteristics. The largest differences are the f-holes, pickup units, tail-pieces and pick-guards. In order to have a full appreciation of both instruments, please visit my 1940 ES-100 tab.