Gibson guitar serial dating
Despite the good times for guitar sellers, Burns London was in desperate need of a rescue.This is where the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company of Cincinnati enters the picture.Burns guitars were generally well designed and produced, with feather-touch vibratos, a unique “gear-box” truss rod adjuster (which ended up on many Baldwin-era Gretsches), and nifty electronic features like the “Wild Dog” setting on the Jazz Split Sound (basically an early out-of-phase tone).Since most of Burns’ guitars ended up in the Baldwin line, there’s no need to go into them at length.However, new product development ground to a halt as Baldwin adjusted to the shock of inheriting a product line targeted at an entirely new market.Upon leaving Burns/Baldwin in ’66, Jim Burns continued to make guitars carrying the Ormston brand name.Since the name was usually on the pickguard, this meant cutting out the Burns name and gluing a piece of pickguard material engraved with the Baldwin name over it.Once the existing Burns parts were used up, the Baldwin logo was incorporated into the parts, as normal. B.66 Deluxe, Bison, Baby Bison, Hank Marvin, Jazz Split Sound, Vibraslim, Double Six (12-string) and Virginian.
In any case, the amount didn’t matter much because, as Harrison recalls, very little cash was involved in the deal. In September ’65, Baldwin Piano and Organ took over the assets of Ormston Burns Ltd., a.k.a. Jim Burns remained on with his old company for about a year in a consulting capacity, fairly typical in this sort of deal.
In the early ’70s he became involved with the Hayman brand, and later in the decade (when the Baldwin fiasco was long over), resuscitated the Burns name on some interesting new designs, including the Flyte and the Scorpion.
Burns passed away in ’98, revered as one of England’s great guitarmakers.
Several generations of the Wulsin family continued to run the company.
The piano building thrived and Baldwin became the first American piano company to win the Grand Prix Award at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Louis Exposition in 1904 and London’s Anglo-American Exposition in 1914.
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Back in the Swinging ’60s, one of the coolest things hip companies could do was own a guitar company.