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Style L-0, Concert Size (13-1/2"). Factory order number 8955.
Ex coll.: Alvin Henry Benesh, Pierre, South Dakota. Gift of Evelyn Benesh, Pierre, 2003.
This Style L-O belonged to Alvin H. Benesh (1908-2000), a long-time civil engineer with the Bureau of Public Roads who worked in St. Paul, Minnesota, beginning in 1931, and in Pierre, South Dakota, after 1946. Benesh also served in the Navy on the USS Gallatin ADA 169 in the Pacific Theater from 1944 to 1946. According to his widow, Evelyn, Benesh saved money through his teenage years to purchase this guitar, which he strung left-handed. Preserved with the instrument is Benesh’s sheet music collection of 1930s hits that he played on this guitar. The L-O was an early Gibson flat top guitar, introduced in 1926, as an inexpensive model. Made from mahogany, the lightly constructed model was marketed to both Spanish- and Hawaiian-style guitarists.
Soundboard: two-piece mahogany, cross-linked grain converging in upper bouts; very slightly arched shape.
Back: one-piece mahogany; no back stripe; very slightly arched shape.
Ribs: two-piece mahogany; mahogany end graft wider at top.
Signature text: Silkscreened in silver ink on head: The / Gibson.
Head: mahogany veneered with black lacquered maple; black celluloid, bell-shaped truss rod cover secured with nickel-plated steel, slot-head screws.
Tuners: pair of nickel-plated steel, worm-gear machine tuners with decoratively cut plate outlines and rolled, cross-hatched decoration; ivoroid heads comprised of fine layers of ivory and translucent celluloid.
Fretboard, Neck Heel, and Back of Neck
Neck: mahogany; integral with head.
Heel cap: ebony.
Binding: white celluloid.
Fingerboard: rosewood; 19 nickel-silver frets; mother-of-pearl dots behind 5th, 7th, and 9th frets.
The factory number is branded on the neck block and can be seen through the soundhole, where it is rubber-stamped in black ink.
Rosette: three-ply (white-black-white) celluloid purfling strips set in from inside edge.
Alvin Benesh, the guitar's original owner, preferred to play left-handed; hence, he set up the strings in reverse order.
Bridge: two-part rosewood with curved lower edge profile, the upper part with bone saddle replaced for left-handed playing angle; black plastic bridge pins; additional bone pin below string pins.
Endpin: black celluloid with ivory celluloid dot.
Linings: kerfed mahogany.
Neck block: mahogany; beveled edges.
End block: mahogany; beveled edges.
Top braces: spruce A-brace, transverse braces above and below soundhole, long finger braces with tapered ends extending from treble A-brace leg to far side of end block; maple bridge plate.
Back braces: spruce back graft; four spruce back braces with tapered ends, the two upper braces with triangular cross-section, the lower two braces wider and lower with rounded outline.
Total guitar length: 951 mm (37-7/16")