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Jumbo "55" (J-55) (16″). Factory Order Number EA-5651 / 613 E.
Brian Fischer Collection, 2005.
The J-55 was introduced in 1939, adding a third grade of Jumbo dreadnaught to Gibsonís line at the time. Gibsonís Jumbo was very close in dimensions to Martin's D-28 model, although with slightly more rounded shoulders. The two designs competed head-to-head in the marketplace, but the J-55 sold for only $55 compared to $100 for the D-28 just before World War II. J-55s made before 1941 feature Gibsonís iconic "moustache" bridge and Zigzag Moderne stairstep peghead.
Inscriptions: Inlaid in mother-of-pearl on headstock: GibsonBranded on back of head (image at right): EA-5651
Rubber-stamped in purple ink on neck block (image below): 613 E
Body: Soundboard: two-piece spruce: wide, irregular grain. Back: two-piece mahogany; no back stripe; joint to treble side of center. Ribs: two-piece mahogany; reinforced on interior with series of spruce grafts. Head: mahogany veneered with dark tropical hardwood; "Gibson" mother-of-pearl inlay; black celluloid bell-shaped truss rod cover secured with nickel-plated steel philipís head screws. Neck: mahogany.
Inlay: Binding: white celluloid. Rosette: three-ply (white-black-white) celluloid purfling strips set in from inside edge. Back stripe: none. End graft: none.
Fretboard, Soundhole, and Pickguard
Trim: Heel cap: none. Fingerboard: ebony bound in white celluloid; 20 nickel-silver frets; single mother-of-pearl dots inlaid behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 15th frets; double mother-of-pearl dots inlaid behind 12th fret; single imitation tortoise-shell celluloid side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 15th frets; double imitation tortoise-shell celluloid side dots behind 12th fret. Nut: bone. Bridge: ebony with decoratively curled ends and cutouts, known as "moustache"; two mother-of-pearl dots, once each inlaid on sides of bridge pins; angled bone saddle; white celluloid bridge pins with mother-of-pearl eyes. Tuners: six chrome-plated steel worm-gear machine tuners with decoratively cut plate outlines; clear plastic heads. Endpin: white celluloid. Pick guard: imitation tortoise-shell celluloid; decoratively cut upper edge. Lacquer: dark-brown sunburst.
Interior: Linings: kerfed maple. Neck block: mahogany; beveled corners. End block: mahogany. Top bracing: spruce X-brace, the joint of main cross brace reinforced with white cloth; transverse and finger braces with tapered ends; maple bridge plate. Back braces: four spruce back braces with tapered ends ends and chamfered edges, the two in the lower bouts wider. Back graft: spruce.
Measurements: Total guitar length: 1037 mm (40-1/2″)
Back length: 516 mm (20-1/4″)
Upper bout width: 291 mm (11-17/32″)
Waist width: 268 mm (10-11/16″)
Lower bout width: 406 mm (16-1/16″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel: 96 mm (4-29/32″)
Rib height, at waist: 107 mm (4-1/4″)
Rib height, at end block: 122 mm (4-27/32″)
Head length: 167 mm (6-17/32″)
Head width, top: 73 mm (2-13/16″)
Head width, bottom: 85 mm (2-5/16″)
Neck length (nut to ribs): 355 mm (13-7/8″)
Neck width, nut: 42 mm (1-23/32″)
Neck width, heel: 54 mm (2-5/32″)
Soundhole diameter: 101 mm (3-31/32″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge): high E: 644 mm (24-7/8″); low E: 646 mm (25″)