GIBSON ES-150 (1936-1942)

  • Gibson ES-150


Brand name: 


  • electric guitars

Series name: 

Dates of manufacture: 

1936 to 1942

In 1935, Gibson enlisted musician Alvino Rey to help develop a prototype pickup with engineers at the Chicago Lyon & Healy Co. Later that year, the project was moved to Gibson's factory where Walter Fuller finalised the distinctive hexagonal design. The new pickup was first used on a 1935 lap steel model. The pickup was put on an F-hole archtop guitar, called the ES-150 (ES - Electric Spanish). The first ES-150 shipped from the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on May 20, 1936.

Jazz musician Charlie Christian was quick to exploit the potential of an amplified ES-150 to cut through the rest of the big band, allowing his solos to be heard. The ES-150 was to become known as the Charlie Christian model. The ES-150 had a bound spruce top with sunburst finish, maple back with mahogany sides and neck.  The fingerboard was rosewood with pearl dot inlays. Bridge was an adjustable rosewood jazz style with a trapeze tailpiece. It had a volume and a tone control for the single coil pickup.

Around 1319 of these first version ES-150s were made from 1936 to 1940. A second version was made from 1940 to 1956.


Specifications (23)


Body back materialmaple body back
Body sides materialmahogany body sides
Body top materialspruce body top
Pickguard materialblack pickguard
Soundhole2 f-holes


Body fretNeck joins body at 14th fret
Headstock inlays or logosheadstock inlay/logo, pearl headstock inlay/logo
Neck materialmahogany neck
Number of frets19 fret
Tuner layoutthree-each-side


Bridgeadjustable rosewood bridge
Hardware colornickel hardware
Tailpiecetrapeze tailpiece


Fingerboard inlay materialpearl fingerboard inlay material
Fingerboard materialrosewood fingerboard
Fingerboard position markersdot fingerboard position markers


Finish effectssunburst finish
Made inUSA
Number of strings6 strings


Pickups brand and modelGibson Charlie Christian pickup(s)
Pickups configuration1 single coil pickup


Tone controls1 tone control
Volume controls1 volume control

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