Washburn serial dating
(Note: The new design did not appear until May 1990) 1980's: While contract builds always included the prefix, it wasn't always used on Samick brand guitars.
By the end of 1993, the month (M) returned to the format, and by 1994, the year was shortened to one digit: Current SPG-built D'Angelico models use the prefix "US" with the same format. Very early models still used the "S" prefix and some also used "R" or "R9".
Also see Headstock Styles and Logo Styles for help determining when your guitar was made (particularly helpful if there is no serial number).
Note: Any guitar with a serial number with the prefix "SI" is Indonesian-made.
The history of the Washburn mandolins, made by the Lyon and Healy company in Chicago, is a bit disjointed, but Keef has done a great job of sorting through it.
It was my great great grandfathers and all I know is that he purchased it in San Francisco before the big earth quake of 1906. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1 Jim is pretty fast on the draw....
The story goes that he survived with just the mandolin and his underwear. The sticker inside shows the serial number as 17575. I'm surprising my husband next week with it as his birthday present (after I have it cleaned, restrung and set up). Cristin Jim My Stream on Soundcloud Facebook 19th Century Tunes Playing lately: 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. Hello Cristin, I am no expert on this by any means and much of what I have learned has come from our dear friend Hubert "Keef" Pleisjer's great book "Washburn: Prewar Instrument Styles" (which I highly recommend for your very luck husband's next birthday gift.) What a great story about your gggfather and his mandolin. I have had a few Washburn mandolins and they are typically very good quality with quite beautiful wood selection.
In most Washburn guitars, the first two digits of the serial number indicate the year of manufacture.
Washburn has utilized a variety of serial number formats throughout its history.