“I think there were actually two paths. One was the wild pointy-shape things. The other was what I believe led to the 335”: The 1955 ‘missing link’ guitar designs that offer intriguing clues to Gibson’s Golden Era developments

Gibson 1950s PTP guitar designs
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has shared a series of previously unpublished sketches from the 1950s that have altered guitar historians’ understanding of the development of models like the Explorer and Flying V. They also, potentially, offer a clue to the evolution of the ES-335.

The images were rediscovered by Gibson’s in-house history buffs, VP of Product Mat Koehler and Director of Product Development and Gibson Archives Curator Jason Davidson, and seemingly led to the development of the recently released Theodore model.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.