Epiphone introduced the Century electric guitar in 1939 as part of the Century series of instruments (which included a banjo, mandolin, lap steel and an amplifier). It was a hollow bodied, single pickup archtop that was eventually replaced by the Epiphone Century E422T in 1958 when Gibson took over Epiphone. The body width of the Century gradually increased following its introduction: from 14.75″ wide in 1939, to 15.25″ in 1941 and 16.375″ in 1946. The Century guitar was also available in Tenor (4-string short-scale) and Plectrum (4-string long-scale) configurations.
The early Epiphone Century’s had a single Master pickup in the bridge position, this was moved to the neck position in 1946. The pickup was changed to a Tone Spectrum unit in 1950 to 1957. Some were also made with NY pickups during the 1950s. The headstock had a metal logo plate.
This is an Epiphone Century Plectrum which the serial number dates at 1940. We recieved it without the original pickup and we had a John Anthony blade pickup made in England to pair with this guitar. The original pick guard was heavily damaged due to out gassing and left a deep scar in the body which has been filled and restored as best we could. We have added a repro pickguard which has a small crack in it and have also added repro carousel knobs and a new wiring harness. The tailpiece, bridge and trap door are all original. There is a serial number 4973 stamped on the headstock. These instruments are extremely rare and this is truly a one of a kind plectrum tenor restored to great playing condition. We have it set up with 12 gauge strings and it can currently be tuned to either “Chicago” tuning or standard plectrum tuning. Other tuning options would require a lighter gauge set of strings. Comes with modern hard shell case.
Feel free to contact the shop with any questions. Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm e.t.