During the years 1933 and 1934, Chicago held a World’s Fair commemorating the “Century of Progress” since the time of its incorporation. The fair was meant to stimulate the local economy during the crisis of the Great Depression. It was very successful and well attended.

The World’s Fair received a great deal of interest from around the world; especially in nearby areas like Kalamazoo, Michigan, home of the Gibson Company. Gibson decided to use the “Century of Progress” idea to name a new high-end flat-top guitar. The L-Century was the result, and it was produced from 1933 through 1941.

Gibson had introduced its L-series of flat tops in 1926, and by 1933 offered several different models at various prices. The L-Century had the same measurements as the other L-models: 14-3/4" wide and 19-1/4" long. The other differences were the use of maple for the back and sides (instead of mahogany), and of course the eye-catching pearloid material covering the entire fingerboard and headstock.

More detailed information on Gibson’s flat-top guitars can be found in Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars by Eldon Whitford, David Vinopal, and Dan Erlewine.

Those interested in the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 and1934 can check outencyclopedia.chicagohistory.org.

Dave's Guitar Shop
Dave Rogers’ Collection is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally Photos by Tim Mullally Dave’s Collection is on display at:
Dave's Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601