Dating epiphone guitar
The pattern is as follows: YDDDYRRR YY is the production year DDD is the day of the year RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.
Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production.
Due to the 88 at the front I think it might be an early sample from the company whom started manufacture in the 90's for Epiphone.
However, the company's weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson's parent, CMI, to absorb it.
Epiphone began in 1873, in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire (now İzmir, Turkey), where Greek founder Anastasios Stathopoulos made his own fiddles and lutes (oud, laouto).
The serial number is 880509595 and it's located on a stick-on strip on the back of the headstock.
The front of the headstock has "Epiphone by Gibson" at the top and the Epiphone logo at the bottom. ______________________________________________________________________ looking at the epiphone forum the serial numbers seem to run similar to gibsons, if they begin with a letter then this denotes the factory/country of origin, yours has no letter so yours according to Epi forum was made in 88(1988) 05(may 5th month) 09595(9,595th guitar made). Hi, I have such an Epiphone, serial number begining with 88 and I cannot find when it was made either!
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Epiphone recently spoke with two key employees who play a huge role at the Epiphone factory.