Barthell Guitars 1975 to present “I started building classical guitars in 1975.  Each guitar I build has a label visible through the soundhole.  The label carries either my signature or my initials (JPB) and  a date showing the year it was completed.  In most cases the serial number is also shown.  I’m just now finishing up number 135, and that will be its serial number.  In some cases low serial numbers will be repeated, because I started from zero again when my good lady and I left the Chicago area to move to the Olympic peninsula here in Washington state.  I did not keep careful records before moving here, but my guess is that numbers below about 30 or 40 could be duplicated.  The dates, however, will establish the age.” [Source: Pete Barthell, email 20/3/2008]