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Hoshino did maintain Elger's Pennsylvania facilities to check incoming shipments and correct any flaws prior to shipping merchandise out to their dealers.

It is also my understanding that the serial numbers were actually placed on the guitars in the USA when that practice started.

Ironically, by the fall of 1976 Ibanez had redesigned their headstocks to look much like those found Guild guitars.

On June 28, 1977, Norlin, the parent company of Gibson, filed a lawsuit against Elger (Ibanez) in Philadelphia Federal District Court . Elger Co." with Gibson claiming trademark infringement based on the duplicate "open book" or "moustache" headstock design of the Ibanez copies.

Allegedly Gibson had threatened to sue Elger/Ibanez for a long time regarding the use of the headstock which Norlin claimed as a Gibson trademark.

The quality of Ibanez guitars increased rapidly during this period.

Many set-neck copies like the Model 2459 Destroyer, an Explorer copy and its Flying V counterpart, the Rocket Roll Sr., we pretty decent guitars, but probably weren't as good as the Gibson/Norlin guitars of the era.

Karl and his brother, Georg, led a small team of craftsman who designed and built the Elger Guitars in a workshop in nearby Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

They continued to hand-build exceptional quality instruments until about 1964. Rosenbloom decided to stop production of the hand-made instruments and begin importing guitars instead.

Non-Free Traders take note: they were able to make these guitars affordable due to cheaper materials and labor, coupled with a higher level of automation when compared to their American counterparts. Rosenbloom figured it out early: make a guitar that “looks” great and similar to a “big name” guitar and people will buy it.

This is precisely the phenomenon we see with today’s Epiphones.

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Before we get too sentimental we must remember that when you inspect some of the earlier guitars that the construction was not completely accurate and faithful to the originals.

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