The best methods of identifying them is by using a combination of the serial number, the factory order number and any features that are particular to a specific time that changes may have occurred in instrument design (i.e. So far there have been 6 different serial number styles used on Gibson instruments.The first serial numbers started in 1902 and ran until 1947.There are people here who are experts on vintage guitar identification.Sorry for taking so long to get back to this, cheers for the replies.
If you have an old guitar that you need to identify, post a couple of pictures here, and give us any identifying numbers stamped anywhere on the guitar, including any on a label.
Some time in 1953, instruments were ink stamped on the headstock back with 5 or 6 digit numbers, the first indicating the year, the following numbers are production numbers.
The production numbers run in a consecutive order and, aside from a few oddities in the change over years (1961-1962), it is fairly accurate to use them when identifying solid body instruments produced between 19.
It's not a vintage acoustic, but it's pretty sexy all the same.
GIBSON SERIALIZATION Identifying Gibson instruments by serial number is tricky and at sometimes impossible.