Gibson Prewar Archtop Guitars

1915 Style U Harp Guitar, 1908 F-2 Mandolin and original Lloyd Loar signed Gibson stock certificate.
1924 Catalog O

As noted below, the 1924 Gibson L-5 is the Master Model Archtop Guitar that has influenced all archtop guitars up to this day. Before this time, guitars did not have 'f holes', just round or oval sound holes.

The next pages will cover my prewar archtop models: 

1935 Super 400

1937 Super 400

1940 L5

1942 L7

Note, that the models, 1924 L3 and 1925 Style O guitars are included in my Gibson Early 1900's section.


Besides the L-5 guitar model, the Gibson Super 400 - designed in 1934 but actually marketed starting in 1935 - revolutionized the guitar market. With the Super 400's stunning craftsmanship, a large 18" body and a beautiful booming tone, it has been Gibson's flagship model up to present day. 

In order to keep pace and stand out among competitors in a post depression market, in 1935 Gibson launched their 'Advanced' models...the Advanced L-5, Advanced L-12, Advanced L-10, Advanced L-7, Advanced Jumbo (flat-top) and Super 400. The 'Advanced Models' first appeared in 1936 Catalog X.

Once again, this is only a view of my prewar archtop collection. Enjoy the following pages.

1924 Gibson Catalog O. The Master Model L-5. Very first Gibson archtop model. The model that has influenced all manufactured guitars to this day!
1942 Gibson Catalog BB
1924 Gibson Catalog O description of L-5 Master Model.
1942 Gibson Catalog BB
1942 Gibson Catalog BB; a map of where Gibson gets the materials for their exquisite instruments.