The history of Gibson's electric archtops

Gibson L-5
(Image credit: Future)

The first ‘Electric Spanish’ guitar produced by Gibson was the groundbreaking ES-150 in 1936. The company’s solid/carved-top pre-war ‘ES’ range was gradually extended with the development of the ES-100 in 1937 (renamed the ES-125 by 1941) and the arrival of the short-lived ES-250 in 1939, along with its replacement, the ES-300, in 1940. 

Although World War II temporarily put the kibosh on electric guitar-building from 1942, Gibson soon returned to Electric Spanish production after the war with its revamped, laminated body designs, including the ES-125, ES-150 and ES-300 in 1946, followed by the singlecutaway ES-350P (Premier) in 1947.  

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.