1900 three Lifton brothers, Sam, Maurice (Morris), and Henry came with their family to
America from Russia, where the family had been in the leather hide business.
1915 – First Appearance of Maurice Lifton in
Maurice and his
cousin, Simon Munitz, establish the Keystone Leather Goods Co. with Maurice as
president and Simon as Secretary. By September 1918 "S. Lifton" is president
(almost certainly Sam Lifton.) Then by November 1918 Maurice and Sam establish
The Lifton Mfg. Co. It's possible that they retained ownership and management
responsibilities in both companies.
Trow’s New York Partnership and Corporation Directory, August 1915, P 544
Keystone Leather Goods Co. (NY), Maurice Lifton Pres, Simon Munitz
Sec., Capitol $3,000. Directors: Maurice Lifton, Simon Munitz, 473 Broome,
Two addresses are
listed in the Trow’s Directory notice (above) for the Keystone Leather Goods Co.
The first one, 473 Broome St., New York, is the famous Gunther Building, in the
Soho District. It originally housed commercial textile factories, and in1915 had
at least one other leather goods company. The second address, 162 Monroe St. is
a residential area. That address appears to be the former location of a
multi-story townhouse, but is currently occupied by a small garage. It evidently
was the home of Maurice Lifton or possibly Simon Muntz. An additional address is
given in the September 28, 1918 article above for a new uptown showroom. This
building is shown in the lower right photo.
Left: The Gunther Building, Broome St., New York
Right: The Gunther Building’s 473 Broome Street Entrance to the former Keystone
Leather Goods Co.
Left: 162 Monroe St., New York, Possible Location of Former Lifton Home
Right: 130-132 W. 42nd St., 17th Floor Uptown Showroom of
Keystone Leather Goods Co.
1918 – Lifton Mfg. Co. is Established
Brothers Morris and
Sam Lifton start The Lifton Mfg. Co. It’s not certain exactly when in 1918 the
firm is established, but the first published
record of activity is November 16, 1919, when it is reported that Lifton sales
representative Jules Cherof had called on music dealers in Philadelphia.
It’s worth noting
that the U.S. had been involved in World War One since April 6, 1917 and the
draft had caused labor shortages and uncertainty for business. The final Allied
counteroffensive began in August and Armistice Day was November 11, 1918. The
knowledge that the “Great War” was ending may have provided confidence to
proceed with the new Lifton enterprise in late summer or fall of 1918.
The First Published Mention of the Lifton Mfg. Co.
The first known advertisement for the Lifton Mfg. Co.
The company name is in regular type rather than the script logo that goes into
use in early 1919.
13-15 West 27th Street, New York, N.Y.
Location of Lifton Factories and Showroom from 1918 to 1924
(The tall building to the left. The right photo shows the entrance behind
1919 - Lifton Expands
At the beginning of
1919 Lifton has 70 workers and 6,000 square feet of floor space; an entire floor
at 13-15 West 27th Street. By April they occupy an additional floor,
adding another 6,000 square feet. They also begin using a newly designed script
Lifton logo that continued to be used throughout the history of the company. The
company specializes in leather bags and cases to accommodate sheet music or
business papers. The first mention of musical instrument cases is not seen until
1920. Morris Al, Aaron and Benjamin Lifton are all mentioned in
articles this year.
The 1921 trademark notice for the script “Lifton” Logo.
The trademark notice says it has been in use since March 1, 1919
(See first known use of logo in November 15, 1919 advertisement above)
The Music Trades, October 4, 1919
LEATHER GOODS SELLING FAST
Lifton Mfg. Co. Adds New Equipment and Prepares for Holiday Rush
Music bags, satchels, rolls, and music brief cases are selling faster than
ever for the firm of Lifton Manufacturing Co. at 15 W. 27th St., New York
City, manufacturers of all kinds of leather goods. Many piano, talking
machine. and sheet music dealers are adding musical merchandise departments
and among the first steps taken by them is stocking up with leather goods.
The Lifton Co. has established many jobbers thoughout the West and reorders
are again flowing into the office. All hands are working at top speed.
Holiday orders are being taken care of specially and it is expected to
complete all orders within a short time. New machinery was again installed
in the factory and shipping facilities increased.
1920 – First Instrument Cases
First mention of
musical instrument cases, but for violin only
AUGUST 28, 1920 - THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
LIFTON MFG. CO. BUYS FACTORY
The Lifton Mfg. Co., 15 West Twenty seventh street, New York City, leather
goods manufacturer, has purchased a factory in New York City and will
manufacture musical instrument goods for the trade. The firm is now
specializing in sheet music rolls and cases.
The company recently gave a dinner at the Hotel Pennsylvania to their
salesmen. It was the first get-together party of the firm, and it is planned
to make it an annual event. The salesmen attending the dinner were A. R.
Epstein, Julius Scherof, Van Lifton, Henry Lifton, J. M. Schaeffer, Peter
Castro, Morris Lifton, Aaron Lifton and Morris Brooks.
October 2, 1920, Music Trade Review
NEW BROOKLYN VIOLIN CASE PLANT
New Factory, the Third Now in Operation by Lifton Co.,
Opened in Brooklyn
A new factory has been opened for the exclusive manufacture of violin cases
by the Lifton Mfg. Co., at Rockaway and Newport avenues, Brooklyn, N. Y.
This is the third factory now in operation by the Lifton Co. The other two
factories are located at 15 West Twenty-seventh street, New York City, where
the general offices are also located. The two original factories are devoted
to the manufacture of music rolls, brief cases, satchels and other leather
and keratol articles for the small goods industry.
(Note: The exact address of this new factory was 823-825 Rockaway Ave.,
but the building no longer exists.)
Merchants’ Association of New York
Year Book 1920
Lifton Manufacturing Co., The, 15 W. 27th, Maurice Lifton, Leather Goods
New York Times, August 27, 1921
NEW INCORPORATIONS.; New York Charters.
Henry Lifton Manufacturing Co., Make brief cases and portfolios. $25,000, H.
Lifton, P. Zeidman, J. Vermus; attorney L. Rocklin, 110 Rivington St.
On August 28, 1920 Henry Lifton is mentioned as a salesman for Lifton Mfg. Co.
Now about a year later he begins his own company.
Advertisement in the 1921 American Stationer and Office Manager
1922 – First Mention of “a Complete Line of
advertisement mentions cases for violins, banjos, banjo-mandolins, tenor-banjos,
clarinets, oboes, saxophones, trumpets, coronets, and flutes, but not for
guitars or mandolins.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
JANUARY 28, 1922
LIFTON ISSUES NEW CATALOG
New York Case Maker Expects Good Business in Musical Merchandise in 1922 AND
That the Lifton Mfg. Co. has every intention of going after business
aggressively, this year is demonstrated by the fact that right at the start
of the year the musical merchandise trade received the new catalog of this
house. The Lifton Mfg. Co. manufactures a complete line of cases for all
kinds of musical instruments at 15 West Twenty-seventh street, New York
City, and the new thirty-five-page catalog contains a complete
listing of these instruments.
The catalog is an artistic one, with several pages in which the cases are
reproduced in original colors, and each article is accompanied by a complete
The following announcement, of interest to the trade, appears on the first
"To the Trade:—This catalog illustrates the several lines made by us.
Quality, backed by the right guarantee, will increase your sales. The best
Lifton advertisements are never published in any magazine or newspaper. They
are words of praise freely spoken by the merchants and customers who have
bought and used our cases.
"They are so well made and of the highest grade materials and workmanship
that we do satisfaction. If at any time any of our merchandise becomes
defective return same and have it repaired without charge.
"Leather goods are manufactured at our New York factories, located at 13-15
West Twenty seventh street.
"The musical instrument cases are made exclusively at our factory, located
at 823-825 Rockaway avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y.
"Visit our showroom, which is centrally located at 13-15 West Twenty-seventh
street, right off Fifth avenue, where we will be pleased to show you our
Note: The original Lifton factory building that was located at 823-825 Rockaway
avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., is no longer in existence.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
JUNE 10, 1922
SPLENDID EXHIBITS AT HOTEL COMMODORE DURING CONVENTION
Lifton Mfg. Co.
The Lifton Mfg. Co., New York City, made a comprehensive showing of its line
of musical instrument cases and leather articles for the music trade in Room
641. Especially complete was its line of violin cases in every grade,
including pigskin, hornback alligator, plain alligator, seal and shrunk
walrus. A sample case demonstrated the framework of the case of three-ply
veneer. This concern specializes in leather goods for musical instrument
dealers and showed also a line of cases for the entire banjo family and a
complete line of music satchels and bags. Those in charge were A. R.
Epstein, B. F. Lifton, Jules Cherof and Frank Scott.
This is the first notice of Lifton cases made with exotic leathers.
Lifton’s New York location put them in proximity to highly paid professional
musicians who desired and could afford the best cases. Lifton’s experience with
leather goods helped them to produce
very high-end violin cases covered with exotic leather.
A Prewar Lifton Violin Case in Genuine Alligator, with a French fitted interior
and three accessory pockets
OCTOBER 28, 1922, THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
STORAGE FACILITIES INCREASED
Lifton Mfg. Co. Secures Additional Space for Storage of Veneers
The Lifton Mfg. Co., New York City, manufacturer of high-grade cases for
musical instruments, announces that it has obtained a large yard near its
Brooklyn factory which will be used for the storage of a large supply of
Business has been on a steady increase with this company and it is entering
upon a busy season with an excessive supply of orders.
MAY 26, 1923 THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
Manufacturers' Convention Exhibits
LIFTON MFG. CO. New York City. Will exhibit their line of musical instrument
cases at the Drake Hotel, with Maurice Lifton and Jules Cherof in charge.
1924 – New Showroom at 40 W. 20th St., Koverite
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW 1924
Mr. Lifton has been fortunate in having the co-operation of his brother,
Aaron Lifton, as factory manager; H. H. Brooks, advertising and sales
manager, and a good selling staff.
January 15, 1924 Patent 1,481,182 issued for brief case construction
Morris Brooks, of New York, N.Y., assignor to the Lifton Mfg. Co., New York,
N.Y., a copartnership composed of Maurice Lifton and Aaron Lifton
OCTOBER 4, 1924 THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
Attractive New Showrooms of the Lifton Mfg. Go.
Artistic New Showrooms Win the Admiration and Praise of Visitors
The new showrooms of the Lifton Mfg. Co., manufacturer of musical instrument
cases, 40 West Twentieth Street, New York, are now completed and ready for
the display of the Lifton line for the inspection of the trade. Beautiful is
the right word to use in describing the Lifton showrooms, for they represent
the last word in artistic interior decoration.
As the customer steps off the elevator on the eleventh floor of the modern
loft building in which the Lifton factory is now located he finds himself in
a reception room the very atmosphere of which is inviting and bids him
welcome. The information girl is seated in against a background of a special
sample show case which has some prize leather cases on display, electrically
lighted to bring out the merits of the cases to best advantage.
This reception room leads to a much larger sample room. The woodwork of this
room is finished in white enamel and the four walls are lined with modern
wall cases. Each case has several rows of glass shelves for the display of
The lighting effects in this room are most unusual. In addition to special
lighting fixtures in each case there are several handsome imported cut glass
chandeliers which diffuse a soft light over the cases. Comfortable chairs
and tables finished to match the woodwork make the room a most pleasant one.
The floor covering is a rubberized checkered tiling.
The complete Lifton line is on display now in the showroom. This includes
cases in the finest grades of leathers, as well as imitation leather, fiber,
duck and canvas. Several styles of heavy alligator skin cases are also
The Lifton line includes cases for violin, tenor banjo, banjo,
banjo-mandolin and lute mandolin, as well as for music stands. Cases for
saxophones, banjo-ukuleles and violas have just been added to the line,
according to Maurice Lifton, head of the house.
Lifton cases are sold by dealers in all parts of the country. The leading
jobbers all carry a liberal supply of them at all times. Another important
part of the business is the manufacture of cases for the leading
manufacturers of high-grade banjos.
Strict adherence to manufacturing principles that insure a quality line of
cases at all times has contributed to the steady growth of the Lifton
business, according to Maurice Lifton. Mr. Lifton is an experienced case
maker who has learned the business by hard work from the apprentice's bench
up to the president's desk. His ability not only to keep the factory working
at full capacity, but to get out and sell goods, as well when needed, has
been a large factor in the Lifton success. Mr. Lifton has been fortunate in
having the co-operation of his brother, Aaron Lifton, as factory manager; H.
H. Brooks, advertising and sales manager, and a good selling staff.
New 1924 Showroom of Lifton Mfg. Co.
40 West Twentieth Street, New York
Note: The two
right-hand pictures above show display cases containing briefcases and other
small leather goods. The lower left picture shows display cases containing
instrument cases, mostly for violin or other small instruments. In the two
right-hand pictures above it is possible to see the three curtained windows of
the 11th floor showroom. The same three windows can be located on the
exterior picture of the building, shown below.
40 West 20th St., New York
Nov 1, 1924, The Music Trade Review - First advertisement of Koverite cases
PRESTO May 30, 1925
N. A. OF M. I. & A. M. TO MEET
The National Association of Musical Instrument and Accessories Manufacturers
Plans Important Convention at Drake Hotel June 9. The National Association
of Musical Instrument and Accessories Manufacturers will hold its annual
convention at the Drake Hotel, Chicago, June 9, and according to President
J. R. Stewart the meeting will give further evidences of the growth which
has distinguished it from its formation.
That phase of the music industry has problems peculiarly its own and it was
the effort to solve them that prompted the formation of the national
organization. These problems will be discussed at the convention at the
Drake and the schedule of the business meetings assure an interesting time
for the members.
The officers of the National Association of Musical Instrument and
Accessories Manufacturers elected at the convention of 1924 are:
President—J. R. Stewart.
Vice-president—Walter M. Gotsch.
Secretary-treasurer—Fred E. Larson.
Board of Directors—J. R. Stewart, Walter M.
Gotsch. Fred E. Larson, C. L. W. Nelson, H. A.
Weymann, H. C. Lomb, Walter Schmidt, E. E. Felsberg,
W. L. Lange, G. F. Chapin and Morris Lifton.
May 30, 1925, Music Trade Review
A Lifton Koverite Violin Case
Probably From 1930’s With Early Lifton Trademark Ribbon
Notice the oval lock at the center of
handle position, typical of prewar cases. Postwar violin cases changed to a
square shaped lock and then moved lock to left of handle. The ”D” shaped handle
probably dates it to mid-1930’s or later.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW AUGUST 15, 1925
Lifton Koverite Cases at Los Angeles Convention
Geo. J. Birkel Co. Makes a Particularly Attractive
Window Display of Those Cases During Recent Meeting
Los ANGELES, CAL., August 10.—One of the interesting sights during the
recent convention of the Western music trades here was the Birkel window
display which featured the new Lifton Koverite case for musical instruments.
Morris Lifton, head of the Lifton Mfg. Co., manufacturer of the Koverite and
other cases for musical instruments, New York, was here for the convention
and brought along his new automatically operating display stand which
advertises Koverite cases in a novel and effective manner.
The Geo. J. Birkel Co. is a big distributor of Lifton products and it placed
the stand in the center of their special convention window display. It
attracted a great deal of attention, for it extolled the merits and features
of the Koverite products as it snapped the colored cards on and off in the
view of the spectators before the window.
While the Koverite display held the center of the stage the huge Birkel
window gave generous space to the other nationally advertised products that
the store handles. In the rear was a huge purple velvet drop advertising
Conn instruments, and there were posters and photos featuring the various
artists using Conn band instruments and Paramount banjos. One big poster
advertised Art Hickman's orchestra, which played at the convention, as a
user of both Conn instruments and Paramount banjos.
A Lifton Banjo Case, probably mid-1920’s to early-1930’s, with an early example
of a Lifton Trademark Ribbon
May 29, 1926, The Music Trade Review
The Lifton Mfg. Co.
The Lifton Mfg. Co., one of the largest manufacturers of all kinds of
leather goods and musical instrument cases for the music industry, are to be
found in an up-to-date factory at 40-46 West Twentieth street, New York
Members of the firm are Maurice and Aaron Lifton. They make complete lines
of music bags, satchels, rolls, folios and brief cases and complete lines of
violin, viola, saxophone, clarinet, banjo-ukulele stand cases, band cases,
banjo, tenor banjo, lute and banjo mandolin cases in various leathers and
skins. "Koverite" cases are also made by this firm. Complete lines of
samples will be on display.
1927 – First Known Guitar or Mandolin Cases (Soft Zipper Style)
1927, Music Trade Review
Koverite Cases had been introduced a couple years earlier. They were a standard
wood-body case with an internal zippered fabric apron to protect the instrument.
Now they announce an additional “New Koverite” case that is a soft case with a
zippered opening. This ad contains the first known mention of Lifton guitar
cases, although they may have been producing guitar cases previously.
“New Koverite” case that is a soft case with a
zippered opening. This ad contains the first known mention of Lifton guitar
cases, although they may have been producing guitar cases previously.
April 2, 1927. PRESTO-TIMES
D. L. DAY IS NEW PRESIDENT
Other New Officers of Musical Merchandise Manufacturers' Association,
Eastern Zone, Also Elected.
At the recent meeting in New York of the Musical Merchandise Manufacturers'
Association, Eastern zone, D. L. Day was elected president. Other officers
elected were Walter Grover, vice-president; H. C. Lomb, secretary, and E.
Stathopoula, secretary. The new board of directors is composed of M.
Lifton, C. F. Martin, F. Gibson, G. F. Chapin and Walter Schmidt.
Mr. Day reviewed the history of the association and pointed with pride to
its steady development to an organization of vital force in the music
"There are big problems to handle in our trade and they can only be worked
out by national cooperation," said Mr. Day. "We are now entering a most
important era in our Eastern zone association, and I think that those of us
who have attended national association meetings are now more vitally
interested than ever. If we can strengthen our local body it will strengthen
The Music Trade Review - MAY 7, 1927
Maurice Lifton Back from Continential Trip
Head of the Lifton Manufacturing Co. Was on Road Over Seven Weeks—Bellphonic
Portable Going Well
Maurice Lifton, of the Lifton Mfg. Co., manufacturer of Koverite cases for
musical instruments, 40 West Twentieth street, returned Tuesday from a seven
weeks' business trip on which he visited music dealers in nearly every city
from New York to the Pacific coast. Mr. Lifton reported that business had
begun to show considerable improvement particularly on the return trip and
he stated that orders were not only good for Koverite cases but that there
was an excellent demand for the Bellphonic portable talking machine which
his firm recently brought out.
"Wherever I went I found music dealers scratching their heads trying to
puzzle out the answer to The Review's Ask Me Another questionnaire," said
Mr. Lifton to a representative of The Review. "As one man said 'This is
certainly a tough questionnaire. If they had easy questions like what is the
most popular line of cases, we could answer it—Koverite'."
This article mentions the "Bellphonic portable talking machine" (phonograph.)
Lifton would have built the cases and installed mechanisms purchased from the
Bellphonic Talking Machine Company in order to sell a portable version of the
product. Geib & Schaefer had a similar product call the “Dul-C-Ton” portable
phonograph which they sold from 1929 through the 1940's.
1935 – First Known Lifton Oval Badge
Patent 95,439, April 30, 1935, a design patent for a musical instrument case
(accordion), Maurice Lifton, Aaron Lifton and Benjamin Lifton, as
copartners, constituting the firm of the Lifton Mfg. Co. New York, N. Y.
The Earliest Known Case With a Lifton Oval Badge
Dated to post-1934, as it has a 1935 Pat. Number
The Lifton Mfg. Co.
FINE LEATHER GOODS
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT CASES
18-22 WEST 18th STREET
August 10, 1935
C.F. Martin Company
Att: - Mr. Martin, Jr.
If it is not asking too
much, we would appreciate that you please let us have a sketch, in the form
of a paper, showing the size of your new $40.00, $80.00 and $250.00 guitars.
We are having requests for cases for these instruments.
According to our records,
the 017 shall take the $40.00 guitar, the C1 shall take the two $80.00
guitars and the F7 shall take the $250.00 guitars. Are we right?
Your kind reply shall be
With kindest regards to
Mr. Martin Sr. and yourself, I am
We can see from
this letter that in 1935 Lifton begins to build guitar cases to fit Martin
guitars. These were sold through distributors to music stores who would sometime
pair a Lifton case with a Martin guitar rather than a Martin-supplied case. The
letterhead seems to indicate that Lifton views itself primarily as a maker of
leather brief cases and bags, with musical instrument cases as a secondary
During the 1920’s,
1930’s, and 1940’s many patents were issued to Maurice Lifton. Some were for
instrument cases, probably more were for brief cases or other leather goods.
Here is one example.
Patent 2,047,914 for brief case construction, issued July 14, 1936 to
Maurice Lifton, Belle Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., assignor to the Lifton Mfg.
Co., New York, N.Y., a copartnership composed of Maurice Lifton, Aaron
Lifton and Benjamin Lifton.
A Lifton Trademark ribbon in a 1930’s era guitar case
PRESTO Music Times, July 1939
List of Exhibitors, 38th Annual Convention and Trade Show, HOTEL NEW YORKER,
AUGUST 1, 2, 3, 1939
Lifton Mfg. Company, New York, N. Y, room 608
A Lifton Case Dated to 1939
This new oval blue
& gold Lifton label is the earliest known occurrence of:
1. The “Built Like
A Fortress” slogan
2. The “Fortress”
This version of the
label is rare since production was evidently curtailed during WWII and a newer
black & red version of the Lifton Label came out at the end of the war.
This same Oval
Badge appears on the right side of the cover of the 1940 Lifton catalog below.
The text says
“Every Lifton case has a Lifton label. Look for the label inside the case.”
1940 Lifton Mfg. Co. Catalog
1940 Lifton Advertisement
Text says: “Floyd
Smith with Andy Kirk. Floyd’s guitar is well cared for in a beautiful LIFTON
case . . . designed for protection as well as beauty. Your dealer will be glad
to help you select the proper case for your instrument. Every known modern
instrument can be fitted with a LIFTON. The 1940 LIFTON Catalog contains every
illustration and description. You dealer has a supply.
Maurice Lifton in the 1940 Census
Age 50, born abt 1890
Home in 1940:
West 23 Street, New York, New York
Household Members Age
Head Maurice Lifton 50
Wife Leah Lifton 48
Friend William Low 56
1941 Music Trade Review
List of Exhibitors at Hotel New Yorker, N.Y. July 29, 30, 31, and August 1,
40th Annual Convention and Music Trade Show
Lifton Mfg. Company, 18 West 18th St., New York, N. V.
18-22 West 18th St., New York, NY
Lifton Headquarters since at least 1935
A 1942 Lifton Invoice
Early 1940's Case
This is a Lifton
guitar case that appears to be early 1940's. The 1939 case above has nickel
plated hardware, and the 1940 catalog shows only cases with nickel plated
hardware. This case has a new style of gunmetal black hardware. Is this possibly
a result of wartime austerity? The 1939 case had a blue & gold Lifton label. This case has slight
variation in black & silver.
Following the end
of World War II a new version of the Lifton case label appears. This new black,
red, and gold case label is used throughout the remaining history of the
company. It gives the company name as just “Lifton”, and no longer uses “Inc.”
or “Lifton Mfg. Co.”
The Lifton Company
had been incorporated in the late 1930’s. Now just a few years later the
corporation was dissolved and the company returned to private ownership.
1950 Lifton Advertisement
A Lifton Guitar Case Dated to 1952
1959 Gibson Les Paul Case
The most collectible of any Lifton case, they can sell for several thousand
A Lifton Case for a Gibson ES335 Guitar Dated to 1961, The Earliest Appearance
of Yellow Plush
A 1964 Music Store “Counter Book” showing an
unidentified case that is almost certainly a Lifton
The Lifton "Universal" Case?
It has been
observed that some of the postwar Lifton cases fit several different size
instruments equally well. It seems likely that this is an intentional Lifton
design, and one that would be attractive to music retailers who were selling a
variety of Martin and Gibson guitars and could make use of a "one size fits
most" case. Here's a late 1940's Lifton case with a Martin D-28, then a Gibson
J-45, and then a Gibson L-50 archtop. It's not an absolutely perfect fit for
any, but fits them all equally well.
Identifying Lifton Cases vs. Geib Cases
fairly easy tell the difference between Lifton and Geib cases. Geib cases
usually have features such as an oval trademark stamp on the bottom, a diamond
on the pocket lid, a medallion inside, or sometimes a “G”, “GS” or “Geib”
stamped on the latches. Prewar Lifton’s often had a trademark ribbon, and
postwar Lifton’s had the oval label. But when both companies started building
cases for instrument builders such as Gibson and constructing them to the
builders' specifications it became impossible to tell the difference unless
there was a logo; and often there was only a Gibson badge.
Nice Lifton Case? No, it’s a 1938 Geib with a Gibson SJ-200
Looks Like a Typical Lifton Case, Right?
Except it has a Geib Medallion inside
A Lifton? No, it’s a 1940 Geib
A Postwar Gibson Mandolin Case, Obviously a Lifton?
Until you spot the Geib Medallion in the upper right of the lid
Everyone knows all those Gibson Les Paul cases were built by Lifton
Until you open the pocket lid and see a Geib medallion
Examples of other Lifton cases from various dates:
A Post-war Lifton Banjo Case with Vega Badge
A 1933 Lifton Case for Selmer Sax/Clarinet
Postwar Lifton Case for Metal Clarinet
Examples of Lifton Briefcases
1971 - Maurice Lifton Dies
1973 - Lifton
closes its doors
2008 - The current status
of the Lifton brand.
As of 2008 the Lifton trademark is owned by Banana Guitars Inc., Vero Beach, FL. They have
produced some faithful reissues of the early 1950’s Lifton cases for the Gibson Les
All photos of
buildings are from Google Maps
The Music Trades
articles are from Google Books
The Music Trade
Review articles are copyright mbsi.org, courtesy of arcade-museum.com
articles are copyright mbsi.org, courtesy of arcade-museum.com
My thanks to Steve
Swan for information about the Lifton "Universal Case"