Born in the Fifties: Electric Guitars
1955 Gretsch Silver Jet #16622
In 1953 the Gretsch Company introduced its first solidbody electric guitar: the Duo Jet. Each guitar received a different model name relating to its striking finish, even though it remained essentially a Duo Jet. These models were the Silver Jet (Sliver Sparkle), the Roundup (Orange with western style inlays and leather trim) and the Jet Firebird (Red). This Gretsch Silver Jet has all the features common to 1955 Jets: a rosewood fingerboard with large pearloid block inlays; chrome master volume, two individual pickup volumes and master tone controls, all stamped with an arrow in the center; a small bullet shaped trussrod cover; two DeArmond single coil pickups; Melita Bridge, silver pickguard, and a chrome “G” cutout tailpiece. The feature unique to Silver Jets is the silver sparkle top made from the same material Gretsch used to cover its drums. The 1955 Gretsch catalog lists a Silver Jet for $255. Credit: Tim Mullally & Dave Rogers, Daves Guitar Shop, La Crosse, WI.