America’s first full year of conflict in WWII was scarcely an auspicious time to launch new flat-top models. But in summer 1942, the company’s latest acoustics, the J-45 and the Southerner, began shipping from it’s Michigan headquarters.
Both were 16 inches wide, round-shouldered, spruce-topped jumbos that initially carried the motto “Only A Gibson Is Good Enough”. The J-45’s appearance was somewhat Spartan, but it’s gutsy tone quickly endeared it to customers.
In spite of the uncertainties of wartime production, it went on to become a best seller. Post-1945, the J-45 succeeded in retaining it’s status as a popular “workhorse” instrument, despite several changes in design.