Bigsby, Paul
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Bigsby, Paul
Mandolins previously built in Downey, CA between 1947 and 1965.
Paul Arthur Bigsby was a pattern-maker who was fond of motorcycle repair and racing. During the 1940s, Bigsby was contacted by country music star Merle Travis to repair a worn-out Vibrola on his Gibson L-10. Rather than just repair it, Bigsby produced a better vibrato tailpiece. The Bigsby vibrato was marketed for a number of years after he finished the first prototype. In 1965, Ted McCarty (ex-Gibson president) bought Bigsby's vibrato company, and produced Bigsby vibrato models until Fred Gretsch purchased the company in 1999.
Between 1947 and 1948, Travis and Bigsby collaborated on a solid body electric which featured a single cutaway, neck-through-body construction, six-on-one-side headstock, and a STB bridge and tailpiece. Bigsby produced solid body guitars like this in small numbers on a custom order basis. Bigsby also had success with his electric pedal steel guitar beginning in the late 1940s. In 1956, Bigsby designed Magnatone's Mark IV (one pickup/trapeze tailpiece), and Mark V (two pickups/Bigsby tremolo) model electric guitars. These guitars were produced in Magnatone's factory. Paul Bigsby passed away in 1968. In 2002, they made a reissue of the original lap pedal steel of Bigsby.

From Blue Book Publications:

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