Tele date dating
Like the body and neck dates, using serial numbers to date a Fender is not a sure bet.At many points in Fender's history, serial number usage overlapped again owing to the modular manner of production.We also have some other blog posts related to Fender that can hopefully be of some help.There's A Brief History of the Stratocaster Part I and Part II that follows the evolution of the most popular Fender guitar of all.Starting in 1976, Fender transitioned to a new serial number scheme and moved the placement of most serial numbers to the headstock of the instrument.Depending on the era and model, the number can be found on either the front or back of the headstock.Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument: In the early years, Fender serial numbers schemes were specific to the model.
There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet.
At this time, the location of the serial number also shifted from the bridge to the neckplate (the metal plate located on back of where the neck meets the body).
Here's how the serial numbers break down from 1954 to the beginning of 1963, though there are some areas of inconsistency in this era: At the very end of 1962 and into 1963, Fender changed to a system where serial numbers began with an "L." According to some accounts, the L was supposed to just be a 1 to mark the cross over into the 100,000 range from the previous scheme, but an L was used by mistake.
These can definitely be useful in cases where no other numbers exist, but just tell when the pot itself was made.
Who knows how long it was waiting in the Fender factory before finding its way into a Tele?
Similarly, take a look at Behold the Jazzmaster for general timeline of the history of everyone's favorite offset guitar.