1936 Transitional Batch E(H)150 With Maple Body

Early January 1936 semi-prototype E(H)150 FON433-2 (lft) with silk-screen Gibson logo vs. later '36 model with pearl inlay logo. Note there is no ornamentation in either model on the headstock (a sign of early production).

According to Prewar Gibson expert, Lynn Wheelwright, 


'It seems that Gibson used batch 433 as a transition batch figuring out the neck joint and how to eliminate the need for the large neck block. Also eliminating almost half  of the screws on the back and settling on the blued high carbon round head screws sunk into the back. If I had to put a designation on 433-2 I would say it was a member of the 30 or so that made up the transition to what would become the standard build construction for the first style. So in a way it would be a sort of prototype.' He goes on to say, 'we only have pictures of the inside of yours from 433 and 3 from 432. One from 432 is quite unique with the entire neck and sides cut from a single piece of wood much like the prototype from fall of 1935. That one is 432-2, the other 2 are 432 18 and 19 which are the same inside and use a large neck block with the laminated sides mortised in. I believe Gibson added the shoulders that extended up to the 12th fret because this is where most all Hawaiian slide guitars joined and players took their visual cues from this joint.' 

Actual copy of Gibson ledger (provided by Lynn Wheelwright) of E(H)150 FON 433-2 showing production of this particular model 27Jan1936.

Above is an example of Gibson's early Electric Hawaiian models. Click the links to go directly to the corresponding pages.

1. 1935 E150 metal body

2. 1936 E150 semi-prototype(this page)

3. 1936 E(H)150(2nd from right)

4. 1937 EH150(far right)

Note the earliest EH had black silk-screen logo on the metal body. The early prototypes had white silk-screen logos. Early production models had a pearl inlay logo and normal production models had pearl inlay with ornamentation.
Silk-screened Gibson logo on the semi-prototype (lft) vs. pearl inlay in the production models (rt).
Gibson 1936 Catalog Y
When the first Gibson electrics made their debut in 1936's Catalog Y, the E(H)150 pictured would change in appearance within the next couple of months to a more standard style and build(i.e. bridge, logo, 22 back screws, neck block and sides).
Note the bridge on top (winter 1935) has 2 screws and no string slots, middle bridge (winter 1936) has 2 screws and string slots and bottom bridge (spring 1936) has 3 screws and string slots.
1935/'36 Grover period correct tuners. Note the early '35/'36 Grovers had blunt ends. Starting in '37 the ends became pointed.
Note the laminate maple sides form around the body but are mortised into the neck block on model 433-2. Many early prototypes went through significant neck block evolution before becoming standard in the early EH's.
Note the laminate maple sides are more standard and are formed around the body in the production models from later '36.
There are lots of slight construction differences inside the bodies of the first batches of EH's as they evolved into standard production types. Top of photo is 433-2 being compared with a more standard '36 model.
433-2 (rt) has a very different neck block than the later '36 model on the left.
Note the small tail-block on model 433-2. The block soon becomes much thicker on the production models.
Note the thicker tail-block on the later '36 model EH's.
Mid '36 side measurement. Slightly larger on production models.
Jan. '36 side measurement. Slightly smaller on model 433-2.
Width measurement is slightly smaller on model 433-2 than the later models.
Mid. '36 measurement. Slightly wider on the production models.
Note the small squiggle springs and screws above. These screws were used to mount the large bar magnet(lft) to the inside base of the early E(H)150.
Screws and springs used to attach the early bar magnetic pickups to the back panel of the electric hawaiian guitars.
2 bar magnets are screwed onto a metal plate which is affixed (with 4 screws, mentioned above) to the maple back of the electric hawaiian.
Maple backs of the early electric hawaiian guitars. Note the 4 screw holes in the center are for the attachment of bar magnets (above pic) to the inside of the maple body.