The Money Shot: 1936 Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel

We bet this beautiful guitar has more than a few stories to tell.

The EH-150 lap steel was introduced in January 1936, superseding Gibson’s aluminium-bodied E-150 but retaining its Charlie Christian pickup with bound blade and unbound outer edge. The owner of this model is Rob Toma, a client and lifestyle management specialist in the entertainment industry.

“I acquired this two years ago from a private dealer,” says Rob. “It was simply by chance, as I thought it looked cool. I loved the vintage look, and that it was almost entirely original aside from the knobs, which were probably added in the 1940s. Due to the heavy duties imposed on US instruments at the time, it was most likely brought over by a player who came to Europe and remained here.”

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Though the instrument has clearly been well used, it’s a fascinating period piece with attractive maple figuring. By 1937, the EH-150 featured a four-piece diamond peghead inlay and both control knobs were located on the treble side, so Rob’s model certainly left 225 Parsons Street, Kalamazoo before Franklin D Roosevelt’s second presidential inauguration. More than 80 years on, we bet it has a few stories to tell.

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