Epiphone

 Epiphone guitar headstock1928 to present

Anastasios Stathopolou made instruments in Greece then Turkey in the late 19th century and moved to New York in 1903 to escape persecution.  His sons carried on the business following his death in 1915 and using the House of Stathopolou brand from 1917. They incorporated in 1923 focussing in banjos and introduced the Epiphone Recording Series banjo in 1924 (named after one of the sons Epaminondas or Epi for short).

1928 the company name was changed to Epiphone Banjo Corporation.

1930s production switched to guitars and some also made under Sorrentino and Howard brands.

1935 name changed to Epiphone Inc.

After Epi’s death in 1943 CG Conn Company at some stage gained control over distribution and in 1953 moved some production to Philadelphia (labels still said New York).

1955 Another brother Orphie regained control.

1957 Chicago Musical Instrument Co (CMI) bought Epiphone and production was moved to Kalamazoo near the Gibson factory (also owned by CMI).  In 1960 production moved to the new Gibson factory and continued in USA until the companies were sold to  ECL (Norlin) in1970 when all Epiphone production was moved to  Japan and 1979 Korea.

Limited USA production only since then.   [Source: Gruhn’s Guide To Vintage Guitars ]

Dating Epiphone guitars

TRY THIS FIRST http://www.guitardaterproject.org/epiphone.aspx

http://www.provide.net/~cfh/epiphone.html

Image courtesy of M Tandy:

Epiphone guitar serial number

Epiphone reference books

Epiphone: The House of Stathopoulo

Epiphone: The Complete History

Epiphone Recording Banjos

Epiphone guitar catalogs

1928-1954 Vintage Epiphone catalogs

1961, 1962, 1964, 1966

1974 http://www.matsumoku.org/models/epiphone/catalogs/catalogs.html

1977 Epiphone catalog

2002 Epiphone Catalog

2003 Epiphone Elite Catalog

2004 Epiphone catalog part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

2006 Epiphone catalog pages 1-22 | pages 23-50

2011-2012 Epiphone catalog [Zip file]

2013 Epiphone catalog

Epiphone guitar advertisements

http://www.vintageguitars.org.uk/advertisements/epiphone

Epiphone Forums

http://forum.japanaxe.com/phpBB3/

http://www.guitardogs.com/message-board-forum/viewforum.php?f=27

Ebay images: Image 1951 Epiphone archtop, 1970s acoustic.

Epiphone Instrument Co New York USA

Epiphone Kalamazoo Michigan Made in Japan