Gibson Style O Artist

Established in 1902 in a blossoming market for mandolins, the Gibson company treated the guitar as a member of the mandolin family. Gibson guitars featured the same carved-top design as mandolins, and they were strung with steel strings (unlike any other guitars of the day except those made by the Larson Brothers).

In 1910, Gibson revamped it’s Style O model from a conventional guitar shape to one that was more in the image of the Gibson F-style mandolins, with a scroll on the upper bass bout. The new design, called Style O Artist, provided a cutaway on the treble side of the neck, giving guitarists clear access to the 15th fret – ahighly innovative feature in anera when most guitars had only 12 frets clear of the body.

As demand for mandolins began to fade with the rise of “Dixieland” jazz after WWI, so did demand for a guitar that was uniquely associated with the mandolin, and Gibson halted production of the Style O Artist in 1925.