Gibson 1939 EM-100 Electric Mandolin

1939 Gibson EM-100

New for 1938, The Gibson (electric mandolin) EM-100, as well as the (electric Spanish) ES-100 was introduced after the success of 1937's EM-150/EH-150. Made for folks on a tighter budget, many similarities can be noted between both the 'budget' EM-100 and the ES-100.  The Gibson logo was silk-screened instead of using pearl inlay, the volume and tone knobs were squared (still bakelite with a painted arrow) instead of having a toffee candy appearance, both used strip tuners with white buttons, and the bobbin used for the pickup was a rectangular cream color for the ES-100 and a black oval for the EM-100.

Other than the above differences, the instruments were virtually the same (sans body dimensions).

Both EM/ES-100 used the same pickups, with the same magnets and same wire windings of their more expensive counterparts.....they just had less aesthetically appealing bobbins.

As time has passed, both EM and ES-100 models have picked up popularity with collectors!

Gibson 1939 EM-100

Gibson 1937 Catalog Y and EM-150

Gibson's 1937 Catalog Y mentioning only the EM-150.
Gibson 1937 Catalog Y.
Gibson 1937 Catalog Y.
Square-edged bakelite knobs, clamshell tailpiece, rosewood bridge and a very plain oval bobbin make up the late-'30's EM-100

This EM-100 has some very different characteristics than the exact catalog specs. This one has a flat back (not arched) made of Bird'seye Maple and the F-holes are long and slender, much like the EM-150. Later this year I will compare another EM-100 and EM-150 from my collection to this one. This EM-100 shares characteristics to both, but is kind of a 'misfit'. 

According to Lynn Wheelwright, this EM-100, FON EGE 5984

'came from a batch that started shipping 10-6-1939 and continued for 6 months.'

1939 Catalog AA EM-100 Description(1938  Catalog Z was 1st appearance of EM-100)

Gibson 1938 Catalog Z First Mention of EM-100. Pictured is 1939 Catalog AA.
Note the case is Aeroplane cloth cover with a green velvet interior.
EM-100 description.
1939 Gibson EM-100.