Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1939)

Gibson  EH-150 Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1939)

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Item # 8638
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Gibson EH-150 Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1939), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # E-2914-26, sunburst lacquer finish, maple body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original tweed hard shell case.

The original Gibson EH-150 "Electric Hawaiian Guitar" with the "Charlie Christian"-style blade pickup was one of the first commercially successful electric instruments, a crucial part of putting Gibson squarely in the forefront of that new field. This late 1939 serial numbered example has the new pickup unit Gibson had just developed for the 1940 model year -- this is undoubtedly one of the very first with that fitting. This completely re-designed slanted pickup is cased in tortoise celluloid and has adjustable poles, an idea just poached from Epiphone. In 1940 this feature was considered an important upgrade, and while somewhat different in response from the "Charlie Christian" unit, this is still a very good-sounding pickup!

With a beautiful burl maple top and back triple-bound in W/B/W celluloid and a fleur-de-lys pearl peghead inlay, this somewhat "dressed up" 1939-40 ES-150 is a particularly attractive lap guitar. All of these semi-hollow body maple Gibson steels have a very rich, powerful tone with plenty of definition. This second version of the EH-150 is not as celebrated as the earlier models but is still an excellent-playing and sounding steel, and a superbly classy-looking instrument in the longstanding Gibson tradition!
 
Overall length is 32 in. (81.3 cm.), 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 2 in. (51 mm.).

This steel shows light wear overall and remains all original except for the tuning pegs, which are modern repros of 1940-era Kluson strips. The finish shows dings and scratches but retains a very nice deep sunburst with a lovely patina. Complete in its original tweed case, this is a very nice example of the "second generation" ES-150. Excellent - Condition.