Gibson 1935 Super 400

Gibson 1935 Super 400 First Year of Super 400 Production (actual production start, 1934). Gibson's only model with an 18" lower bout, or body. Between '35-'36 the upper bout was 12 1/4" and scale length 24 3/4" and small triple bound f-holes.
1939 Catalog AA. Les Paul with his '35 Super 400.
Original published 1941 Spanish Guitar book from Montgomery Wards. Roy Smeck 'The Wizard Of The Strings' is featured with a brand-new '35 Super 400. Note the ribbon tied around the middle bout of the guitar.

This particular Super 400 has had quite a full life, that is, up until it found its home in my collection. According to Joe Spann, this piece was, 'constructed in 1935 and shipped on 21 January 1936 to one N. DeThomas as part of a Super 400 outfit. Also included in the shipment was a New-Old-Stock F-5 mandolin. This guitar was sent back to the Gibson factory twice for repairs, being returned to William Place Jr. on 27 May 1947 in a #400 case and then to Place Music Company of Providence, Rhode Island on 28 August 1947 in a #400 case.'

After it got to Providence, there is no more written information about its history. Apparently this guitar must have stayed around the region, because I got it a few years ago from a gentleman in Providence, Rhode Island.

I was told by the last owner that sometime in the 1960's it was refinished and slightly modified. It was given larger '60's Kluson Sealfast Tuners (actually a bonus) and a floating pickup, perhaps to emulate the 'Johnny Smith' model of the time.

Tony Romano playing his '35 Super 400. Dated 24Jan1945.
1939 Catalog AA.
1935 Super 400 & leather case.
MGM photo of Ginny Simms, circa 1937/'38.
Pearl inlaid 'Gibson' script. Note, prewar Gibson script is pearl/screen print and written straight across headstock. It will be slanted on early 1945-1947 models briefly, then changed to Corporate logo thereafter.
1939 Catalog AA.
Large 1960's Kluson tuners. Actual tuners for this model would be very small Grover 'butter bean' engraved tuners (please see photo below).
Actual Grover 'butter bean' tuners that originally came with the 1935/'36 Super 400.
1939 Catalog AA.
Note the Grover tuners had a 'ball peen' head instead of a set screw. They also had heavy engraving which was only common to the '35/'36 Super 400 model.
Photo from 1937 Catalog Y, pg.5 (same photo in 1936 Catalog X pg. 3, but all photo edges are squared)
Serial number 92683 made in 1935... #'s 9233-92800 = 1935.
FON 333A-5 stamped under treble f-hole inside body. Prewar models had FON stamped, starting in 1935 with A, '36-B, '37-C, '38-D, '39-E, '40-F, '41-G, '42-H, '43-I.
Wholesale Gibson Catalog (circa 1938, because the the ES100 made its catalog debut in '38 Catalog Z and this catalog shows only the EH100) printed in England. Inside photo introduces the 'All New' Super 400.

Please visit Prewar Catalogs to see this and the entire collection of catalogs.

English Gibson wholesale catalog with New Super 400 model.
Heel cap stamped faintly with 'Super 400'. Fine, book-matched curly maple back.
From 1937 Catalog Y.
Engraved tailpiece and ebony end-pin.
Ebony end-pin. Note the hinged tailpiece is used from 1935-1939, it is bent and not hinged after 1939 . The 1939 ES250 uses the exact hinged tailpiece, only with nickel plating and no engraving.
Ebony bridge with inlaid pearl triangles. Inlaid triangles disappear after 1938.