STILES, GILBERT L.
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STILES, GILBERT L.
Instruments previously built in Independence, WV and Hialeah, FL between 1960 and 1994.
Luthier/designer Gilbert L. Stiles (1914-1994) had a background of working with wood, be it millwork, logging or house building. In 1960, he set his mind to building a solid body guitar, and continued building instruments for over the next thirty years. In 1963, Stiles moved to Hialeah, FL. Later on in his career, Stiles also taught for the Augusta Heritage Program at the Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV.
Stiles built acoustic flattops, archtops, solid body electrics, mandolins, and other stringed instruments. It has been estimated that Stiles had produced over 1,000 solid body electric guitars and 500 acoustics during his career. His archtop and mandolins are still held in high esteem, as well as his banjos.
Stiles guitars generally have Stiles or G.L Stiles on the headstock, or Lee Stiles engraved on a plate at the neck/body joint of a bolt-on designed solid body. Dating a Stiles instrument is difficult, given that only the electric solids were given serial numbers consecutively, and would only indicate which number guitar it was, not when built. Source: Michael Wright, Guitar Stories, Volume One.

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