Gibson 1940 ETG150 Electric Tenor Guitar

Gibson 1940 ETG Electric Tenor Guitar
Lifton brand guitar case for ETG150.

The above photo was taken from Gibson's Mastertone System For Steel Guitar, 1940. The system consists of four parts, each part with 12 sheets of music lessons and songs. The entire system maybe viewed by clicking Gibson Music Books. This is the only photo to capture the 4 string Electric Tenor Guitar, ETG150 (far right). The ETG150 is fairly rare with approximately 95 produced between 1937-1942.

The above photo of the ETG150 & ETB150 depicts two of Gibson's first electric instruments that are not commonly seen. Compared with the photo directly below, the ETG150 above has a couple of differences, including a beautiful pearl inlay in the headstock and fancy pearl inlay markers on the fingerboard, much like a '30's L7. The pickguard is the original notched 'Charlie Christian' style used from '37-'39 on the famous ES150 . The plain tailpiece has been upgraded with an early designed Vib Rola. 

Photo ETG150 and ETB150 taken from 'Gibson Electrics The Classic Years An Illustrated History from the mid-'30's to the mid-'60's' by A.R.Duchossoir.

As stated above, you may notice a few differences between the pictured ETG-150 that I have versus the regular one in the photo.

I asked Joe Spann about this and he replied that my, '1940 ETG-150 has the peghead overlay and fingerboard inlays from a Gibson Mastertone style 5 banjo (produced 1925-1928). Aumann Brothers of Detroit made up these overlays and fingerboards far in advance of production and when the banjo craze died about 1932 they had plenty of overstock on hand. These same sets turn up in later models of the L-Century guitar among others. The original tenor banjo fingerboard was sawed up and the inlaid positions cut down into rectangular sections which could then be inlaid quite easily into the guitar fingerboards. Gibson never threw anything away that could be reused.'

Beautiful factory customized pearl inlay.
Shipping totals for the ES150 and ETG150 from A.R.Duchossoir.
ETG150 pictured next to the drum. Note, an ES150 guitar with an added L12 tailpiece, is pictured to the right. 1942 Catalog BB.

EST150 Name Change to ETG150 in October 1, 1940

Above is an explanation of the name change EST150 to ETG150 taken from 'Gibson Electrics The Classic Years', by A.R. Duchossoir. Because the instrument on this page has an 'F' (1940) in the FON, this excerpt clearly points that it is an ETG150.

October 1, 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA

October 1, 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA. Interestingly enough, in this supplement, the model EST150 changed its name to ETG150.

An exact model to the famous 1936 ES150 'Charlie Christian' model, except for the 4 strings vs. 6 strings. The ES150 guitar (RT) was first introduced and cataloged in Catalog x, 1937, with no mention of the tenor version until Catalog Y, 1938. The tenor version was then cataloged up to 1942's Catalog BB. There were never cataloged photos of the ETG150.

1938 Catalog Z's ad for the ES150 and only a quick blurb about the ETG150.
1940 ETG150 next to 1941 EH150 amp.
1938 Catalog Z.
1938 Gibson Catalog Z.
The only print mentioned for the Electric Tenor Guitar in any Gibson catalog.
1941's 'Hillbilly Hit Parade'.
Inside 'Hillbilly Hit Parade', is a great shot of an ETG150.
Factory order number is 350 F. 'F' relates to production year of 1940. Not to be confused with serial #'s which are stamped onto oval paper and glued inside the bass side f-hole. ETG & ES150's are not high-end models and receive only ink-stamped FON's.
Smaller notched 'Charlie Christian' pickup found on the ETG150, ETB150 and EM150 (electric mandolin).
Larger 'Charlie Christian' pickup. Smooth blade 1936-'38 and notched in late '38-'39 on the ES150 models.
Tailpiece with input jack on the base of the guitar, just like the 1936-'39 ES150 and 1939 ES250.
VIB-ROLA tailpiece. Could be installed on early 1940's models as well as very early post-war models.
Side view of the springs in the VIB-ROLA mechanism.
Note the difference of the tuners. 4 VS. 6. Also note the tuners on the ES150 (back) are '38 Grovers. The tuners on the ETG150 are 1940 Kluson tuners.
Note the tuners on the front 1941 ES150 match the tuners on the 1940 ETG150.
Back of the ES150 & ETG150. The only difference is the width of the neck and 4 vs. 6 strings.