Vintage Vault

The label inside this soundhole features a photo of Lucas holding a Special, with "Nick Lucas Special" on its upper circumference and "Made by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., U.S.A." at the bottom.

Gibson's acoustic Nick Lucas Special was a distinguished debut entry in the history of signature model guitars.

Think of Gibson's golden era and your imagination may spark to Les Paul. Think of the golden era of Gibson acoustics, and you'd do well to think of Nick Lucas. Originally produced from the late 1920s through the '30s, the Nick Lucas Special was introduced as Gibson's first signature guitar. According to experts, it arrived in late '27 or early '28, and the last one was manufactured in 1938 and shipped in '41.

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How the L6-S Custom became Gibson's most versatile tone machine.

What do Al Di Meola, Carlos Santana, Paul Stanley, Dave Davies, Prince, Pat Martino, and Keith Richards have in common? They've all played Gibson's L6-S Custom—an extremely versatile tone generator with a variety of voices wide enough for that diverse cast.

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In 1952, Gibson's ES-295 also went for the gold—and double P-90s—in a lightweight archtop body style.

When Ted McCarty was appointed general manager of Gibson in 1948 (he became president in 1950), one of his first major goals was to rapidly increase the range of electric guitars offered by the company. In 1949, the lineup, including the 17"-bodied ES-300 and ES-350, was joined by the mid-priced 16" Florentine cutaway ES-175. The ES-175 had a laminated maple arched top and back, with a 24 3/4" scale-length neck.

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