Gibson Factory Order Numbers

Gibson used Factory Order Numbers (FON) on some of their guitars from about 1908 to 1961. Many times you will see both a factory order number and serial number. The FON was stamped for each batch in production and each instrument in the batch during the early stages of the build.

The FON can be very helpful dating the instrument as that might be the only marking. They can also be used together with the serial number to more precisely date the instrument.

Gibson used four different patterns of FON’s through out the years.

FON: 1908-1923
The first FON’s are usually ink-stamped on the neck block inside the body and have of a three to five digit number with no suffix

Years
1902-1916 1 – 3650
1917-1923 11000 – 12000
1924-1925 11000A – 11250A
1925-1931 8000 – 9999 1931-1933 1 – 890
1934 1 – 1500
1935 1A – 1520A
1936 1B – 1100B
1937 1C – 1400C
1938 1d – 1000d
1939 1E – 980E
1940-1945 1 – 7900

  • Alphabetical FON: 1935-1942

    1935 A
    1936 B
    1937 C
    1938 D
    1939 E
    1940 F
    FA 1941 E
    1941 G
    1942 H

FON after WW II: 1949-1952
After WW II FON’s were hit or miss and not very good for dating or not present on the guitar. When present they were rubber stamped on neck block or on back of the headstock with numbers from 100 to 9999.

Year Factory Order Number
1941 G
1942 907, 910, 923, 2004, 2005, 7000’s
1942 H
1943 9xx to 22xx
1944 22xx to 29XX
1945 1xx to 10xx
1946 many no fon
1947 700s to 1000s
1948 1100s to 3700s
1949 2000s
1950 3000s to 5000s
1951 6000s to 9000s

Alpha FON: 1952-1961
Around 1952 Gibson went back to the a first letter pattern
The first letter used in
1952 was Z
1953 Y
1954 X
1955 W
1956 V
1957 U
1958 T
1959 S
1960 R
Then lastly Q in 1961 which is very rare to see.

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