EPIPHONE made the ZEPHYR EMPEROR REGENT between 1950 and 1958. The Emperor was the biggest and most expensive guitar made in the Epiphone New York factory. It measured 18.5" across the lower bout and had a 3.5" body depth, The single cutaway electrified version of the Emperor and was known variously as the Zephyr Emperor Varitone (1951), the Zephyr Emperor Regent (1952-1953) and the Emperor Electric (1954-1957). Pickups were three Epiphone New York units, but a few had DeArmonds. The 6-button switching system allowed all possible pickup combinations, except all three together.
This model was effectively discontinued in 1958 when the Emperor was changed to a thinline hollow body design (the Gibson-Epiphone Emperor) and by the mid 1960s Emperors were a special order guitar only.
Epiphone described the Zephyr Emporer Regent (Emporer Electric) Model as follows in their 1954 catalog:
"EMPEROR ELECTRIC. This superb instrument is The ultimate in electronic guitars. The Emperor has six distinctly different tonal effects derived from its three individual pickups — all instantly produced with push-button ease! Further variations are achieved by merely adjusting the tone control—almost an unlimited choice of tone coloring! The Emperor laminated neck has 72 separate precision operations by Epiphone’s meticulous craftsmen; its cutaway feature allows full freedom of the left hand all the way in the 20th fret, Closed-gear machine heads (16-1 ratio) allow quick, easy tuning, and the Frequensator tailpiece automatically sets string length for fullest frequency response. The Emperor's appearance matches its performance—with pearl inlaid fingerboard, and its large body made with select maple top. All accessories are richly gold plated. Body Dimensions: 18.5" wide by 21.75" long."