The lone letter "D" that appears on those early telecaster style Fender guitars.

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by tonyj, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    It's pretty close to seventy years since this iconic series of guitars was first produced.

    Surely then there were inquisitive owners or enthusiasts at that time who bought the guitars new or even used and at some later date, who might have asked this same question regarding their guitar at some point. A question that is still puzzling current day owners.

    Some of those people are likely still with us. People are actually still buying or trading for them - at least the very lucky ones are.

    I can't believe that taking into account how many questions are actually asked on this forum alone, and which are usually answered in double quick time by our own experts, and usually in regards to the most cherished of our guitars, the Telecaster ....... that the one guitar that spawned this whole website, is still harbouring it's own secrets.

    Ask what Thadeo's mother-in-law's maiden name was, and someone will give us the answer.
     
  2. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    It really looks like no one can answer this. I have seen it come up rather often over the years
    When someone contacted Tadeos Family years ago , they knew about his time at Fender , but had no Idea about the initials , or the importance they mean to the owners
     
  3. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    My suggestion, based on credentials which have been widely discredited, is that D was the universal shorthand for a 'pass'.
     
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  4. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Not knowing shorthand, is the "letter" D universally accepted as indicating a pass for something? ..... as in 'this item has met all the required criteria'.

    If that is the case, and this is not a fictitious theory, then perhaps we are close to solving this puzzle.

    Shorthand experts please chime in.
     
  5. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    I received a "D" grade in many classes in high school. Had it not indicated a passing grade I might still be there (25 years later).
     
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  6. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Too many years to know now....

     
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  7. Tedzo

    Tedzo Tele-Meister

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    There are no marks on my '53 neck other than the 12-53 in pencil.

    Neck Date.jpg

    Also, the neck pocket in the '65 body has this strange black ink stamp.

    body3.jpg
     
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  8. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

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    D looks hammer stamped..why stamp? because.. it doesn't come off..must be a major reason we don't want it to come off...and take the extra time to stamp....the D sits proud and is boss over the penciled dates and initials...my guess...it is a PASS..[​IMG]
     
  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Smilie? like : D
     
  10. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    Always an interesting discussion and it's fascinating that there is no clear answer. In this early process of the production of an item that was in constant adjustment, the code in the modification process guessing is tempting, when checking to indicate a deflect or after correction to indicate it's done. But that might concern the whole guitar each time, because if it were about checking either a body or a neck, we would have some instruments with both parts stamped D and as far as I remember, every instrument that has a D, has no more than one. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  11. Skamania

    Skamania Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    See LostVenture post #6. This indicates nut width.
     
  12. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In my career field, we have quality control stamp items as they are received, or built, when ready to accept/use. This D may have been the stamp of a QC inspector that the item had been inspected and found satisfactory for use. If found on a guitars made within a given time frame, and not on earlier/later models, that also points to the possibility that it is a personal stamp of approval/acceptance.
     
  13. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Inspected by Xochitl ?
     
  14. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    No. Different marking altogether from the rubber stamp marks on neck heels which indicated nut widths and were introduced years later. See post #9.

    The impressed mark is recorded on guitars from 1951 to 1954 and is found on bodies as well as neck heels. Why record a nut width spec on a body?

    A "D" represents a 1 7/8 " nut on that scale and I have never heard of an early Broadcaster, Esquire or Telecaster with such a neck width.
     
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  15. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

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    Ranchers used them to combat widespread guitar rustling in the wild west. Those particular doggies were clearly from the Tele D Ranch.
     
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  16. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    I'm pretty sure it's a clue to where Leo hid the buried treasure.
     
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  17. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Deep state.
     
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  18. telecasterbill

    telecasterbill TDPRI Member

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    Interesting, my '54 telecaster has that little pencilled "Z" as well! Whatever that means...
     
  19. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    One popular theory discussed, and I recall offered by 0l’ Fuzzy was D was stamped to demote ‘dry’, i.e. the lacquer being ‘dry enough’ to handle without leaving fingerprints.

    I’ve flicked through the posts and there’s talk of ‘quality control marks’ but if you read Forrest White’s book about the early years at Fender, very few concepts of quality control were evident in those early years.

    Sadly the D will go down in history as one of those great unsolved mysteries.

    :) Peter
     
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  20. Tele-Dave

    Tele-Dave Tele-Holic

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    I stamped them with my first name initial so they can be identified if stolen.
    Please return them immediately to me to avoid prosecution.
    Shipping address to follow...….
     
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