Imagine if you could hold what may be the first guitar to be labeled Fender Telecaster in your hands. It’s a piece of music history, even if it just meant a new label for a guitar that was already in production. At US vintage dealer Norman’s Rare Guitars you can now marvel at one of the first – or maybe even the first – Telecaster. And if you have the cash, you can also buy it.
The first Fender Telecaster ever?
The Telecaster is, in fact, not the first guitar with this design. Previously, an almost identical model with two pickups was already in production under the moniker of the Broadcaster. But because Gretsch (most of which now belongs to Fender) owned the trademark to that name, the labels were cut off the headstock decals – and thus the Nocaster (like the recent Joe Bonamassa model) was born. A short time later, Fender decided on the new name and the rest, as they say, is history.
Broadcaster, Nocaster, Telecaster!
It is not entirely clear whether this Fender Telecaster from 1951 is really THE first Tele. But with the serial number 0942, it is safe to say that it is definitely one of the earliest models with the new name. Most of the models under the 1000 range usually tend to be labeled Broadcaster. And surprisingly, it is in extremely good condition. Especially when you factor in the fact that it turns 70 years old this year. No deep scratches or gouges, no paint cracks, and no dirty hardware parts. It looks like it could just as well have fallen “off the assembly line” this year, with some light relicing .
Check out the full video below taken at Norman’s Rare Guitars and let us know what you think. Could it really be the first ever Fender Telecaster?