The era of the original NY-based Epiphone company ended when, after a long decline, it was sold by the Stathopoulo family in 1957 to Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) – the parent company of their main competitor Gibson.
The new owners continued to produce Epiphone-branded instruments, first in Gibson's Kalamazoo MI factory and later in East Asia – to this day (read more about Epiphone history).
The charts below are excerpts from our Registry database of documented Epiphone guitars, mandolins and amplifiers of the c.1928–1956 era (pre-Gibson).
Listed are serial number/model pairs along with the estimated manufacturing year.
players, collectors, dealers, luthiers and historians who own and appreciate Epiphone instruments.
Therefore no "official" production figures are available for any of the original Epiphone models.
Is Gibson always considered a treasure and is an imported Epiphone always considered trash? Gibson has been building guitars since 1894 and the name is generally synonymous with a quality, valuable, and great-playing guitar.
Epiphone was another successful guitar manufacturer during the first half of the 20th century.
Epiphone's serial number systems and the rationale behind them still bear some mysteries; and the production year of an Epiphone instrument can be only approximately derived from its serial number. Fred, authors of the outstanding reference book (Amsco Publications, New York, 1996) had started a list of documented instruments (serial number/model) – a few hundred in total.
The only way to get more knowledge in this field is to gather and analyze information on as many surviving Epiphone instruments as possible. The Unofficial New York Epiphone Registry (NY Epi Reg) project aims to continue and deepen the research started by Fisch/Fred: by collecting additional data on surviving instruments, with the help of the worldwide "Epiphone community", i.e.