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NMM 10867.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1944.
Southerner Jumbo (SJ) model (16″).  Factory Order Number 910 25.
John R. Barmeyer Collection, 2005.

NMM 10867.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1944.

The Southerner Jumbo, or SJ, was Gibsonís replacement for the Jumbo "55" model in 1944. A very limited number of pre-War instruments with Factory Order Number 910 had rosewood backs and ribs, which on later SJs were made of mahogany. The SJ also had fancier trim than the preceding J-55, with multi-ply, celluloid binding trim, rosette inlay, and a celluloid heel cap. NMM 10867 also features a golden banner decal on the peghead, ONLY A GIBSON IS GOOD ENOUGH. This slogan was used on decals between 1944 and 1946, when it was abandoned because of a rather aggressive Epiphone ad campaign that touted its instruments for "When Good Enough Isnít Good Enough."

Front, Side, and Back Views

NMM 10867.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1944. Treble side of guitar Bass side of guitar Back of guitar

Inscriptions:  Gold decal on headstock: Gibson
Black and gold decal on headstock, lettering black on gold banner: ONLY A GIBSON IS GOOD ENOUGH
Rubber-stamped in purple ink on neck block, the number 25 written in red pencil: 910 25

Numbers stamped on neck block

Only a Gibson is good enough

Front and Back Views of the Body

Front of guitar Back of guitar

Body: Soundboard:  two-piece spruce: wide grain narrowing toward the flanks. Back:  two-piece rosewood. Ribs:  two-piece rosewood reinforced on interior with linen strips. Head:  mahogany; face finished in black lacquer; bell-shaped, black celluloid truss rod cover secured with nickel-plated, steel slot-head screws. Neck:  mahogany; integral with head; hole in treble side of neck heel from strap button, now removed.

Fretboard, Front and Back of Peghead

Fretboard Front of peghead Back of peghead

Trim: Heel cap:  white celluloid with two ply (black-white) celluloid trim. Fingerboard:  rosewood; 19 nickel-silver frets; mother-of-pearl split parallelogram inlays behind 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 17th frets; white celluloid side dots behind 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 17th frets. Nut:  bone. Bridge:  rosewood with curved lower edge; mother-of-pearl dots inlaid on each side of bridge pins; angled bone saddle; white celluloid bridge pins. Tuners:  two sets of chrome-plated, steel, worm-gear machine tuners with brass-plated steel mechanisms; white celluloid heads. Endpin:  white celluloid. Pick guard:  imitation tortoise-shell celluloid (tear-drop shape). Lacquer:  dark red-brown sunburst with fine craquelure.

Neck Heel

Neck Heel

Bridge and Lower End


Lower end

Soundhole and Pick Guard

Soundhole Pick guard

Inlay:  Binding:  white celluloid; six ply (alternating black and white) celluloid purfling trim on top; four ply (alternating black and white) celluloid purfling trim on back. Rosette:  seven ply (alternating black and white) celluloid purfling strip set in from inside edge, with additional three-ply strip on outside, with natural wood in between. Back stripe:  none. End graft:  none.

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. Back graft:  spruce.

Measurements:  Total guitar length:  1026 mm (40-3/8″)
Back length:  514 mm (20-1/4″)
Upper bout width:  292 mm (11-1/2″)
Waist width:  271 mm (10-21/32″)
Lower bout width:  407 mm (16″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  98 mm (4-7/8″)
Rib height, at waist:  107 mm (4-3/16″)
Rib height, at end block:  125 mm (4-15/16″)
Head length:  171 mm (6-23/32″)
Head width, top:  75 mm (2-31/32″)
Head width, bottom:  65 mm (2-9/16″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  349 mm (13-3/4″)
Neck width, nut:  42 mm (1-23/32″)
Neck width, heel:  55 mm (2-5/32″)
Soundhole diameter:  102 mm (4″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  632 mm (24-7/8″); low E:  635 mm (25″)

Literature:  "Gibson Southerner Jumbo," Vintage Gallery, Vol. 1, No. 4 (January 1995), p. 33.

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