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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Proof that Leo Fender stole strat headstock design

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by John Backlund, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. John Backlund

    John Backlund Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2003
    South Dakota

  2. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Tele-Meister

    Aug 29, 2003
    " Can change from rhythm to sound. "


    Finally some worthwhile advancement in guitar technology.

  3. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    uh, jes' m.h.o. here, 'k ?

    There was boatloads of 'em sold through Sears and/or Monkey Ward's in the mid/late '60's or early '70's....
    the trem and headstock looks very much like some of the late '60's Hagstroms.....

    while it may be 40 years old, it's NOT from the '40's..... ;-) 'course, i could be might be from the '10's or '20's too ! ;-)

  4. Cheese

    Cheese Tele-Meister

    Jul 18, 2005
    The Netherlands
    wow, they where about 25 years ahead of their time

    i quess all historybooks are wrong after all

  5. JoeAArthur

    JoeAArthur Tele-Holic

    Jun 9, 2005
    1940s Crestwood?

    It looks like a Japanese guitar of the 1960s... Teisco style... my first two were branded Ventura. The second one had a vibrato that looked a lot like this one.

  6. Al Nico

    Al Nico Tele-Meister

    Jan 5, 2005
    I didn't know they made jazzmaster/jaguar vibratos with a "surf" string mute in the 1940s. ;)

    Besides, everyone knows where the Fender-style peghead was (or may have been) derived from:

    "According to writer Tony Bacon, in The Fender Book, "It's difficult to judge whether the design of Fender's first solidbody electric guitar was influenced very much by Bigsby's earlier instrument. George Fullerton says that he and Leo knew Paul Bigsby and had seen Merle Travis playing a Bigsby guitar. Dale Hyatt, however, is less sure: 'I can't really say there was any truth that Leo copied Paul Bigsby, they just both made something at the same time.'" [The Fender Book by Tony Bacon and Paul Day, page 15, continued on page 18].

    It's also interesting to note that in the late 40s Bigsby's shop was in Downey, California, only fifteen miles away from Fender."

    Five headstocks side-by-side:


    A = 1947 Bigsby Merle Travis
    B = 1949 Fender "Snakehead" Esquire Prototype
    C = 1950 Fender Esquire
    D = 1954 Fender Stratocaster
    E = 1966 Fender Stratocaster

  7. Frank Roberts

    Frank Roberts Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2003
    Cool graphic, Al! Leaves one with the impression Fender was evolving back to the past (Bigsby)!!

  8. cody420

    cody420 Tele-Meister

    Oct 29, 2003
    Atlanta, Georgia
    The seller has now changed from 1940 to 1957.

  9. 12BarsOfSoul

    12BarsOfSoul TDPRI Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    lol he must of gotten the dates mixed up by accident...happens on ebay all the time :rolleyes:

    I guess some people will believe anything...glad this wasn't a law suit case.

  10. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 12, 2005
    Fullerton, CA

    While Bigsby's headstock probably came first, the actual design is loosely based on a violin/cello/double bass headstock (side/profile view).

    So I guess they were both copying whoever invented them old violins all them years ago :)

  11. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    Leo stated his inspiration was the headstock of a very old Croatian instrument....

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