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instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
You can even look for a 2nd number on the headstock backside of guitars built earlier than 1961. The Factory Order Number will include in it, a letter, which will refer to the year, after which a 4 digit number then a 1 or alternatively 2 digit number.
Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early ’50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.
But once again, due to Fender’s modular production methods and often non-sequential serial numbering (usually overlapping two to four years from the early days of Fender to the mid-1980s), dating by serial number is not always precisely definitive.
Guidlines for finding the guitar's correct age can certainly be just like an activity taken from an episode of "CSI," in which you determine a age determined by several different forensic research examinations, not simply the serial number. From 1953, a 3 digit SN had been stamped at the top.
Subsequently in that year, in addition to carrying on all the way through 1961, Gibson pressed a 5 or 6 number using ink upon the rear of the electric guitars headstock.
These types of numbers do not actually stick to a pattern.