Starting in the summer of 1951, Fender adopted the name "Telecaster" for this model, and started using new decals after all the old clipped decals were used.

dating a fender telecaster-17

Dating a fender telecaster video

instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.

All Telecasters basically have the same features: single cutaway slab body, 2 chrome knobs, 3 position toggle switch, 3 paired adjustable bridge saddles, strings anchor thru body (except in late 1958 to 1959).

Period specific details are as follows: Serial number on neck plate. White single layer vinyl pick-guard replaces black pick-guard.

In 1971, Fender changed the model to use Humbucking pickups, a "bullet" truss rod (adjusts at peg head), and the peg head decal was changed to read "Fender Telecaster Thinline".

The original Telecaster Thinline was reissued by Fender of Japan in the early 1990’s.

The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.

Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, a neck may have been produced in one year, placed in a warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.

If you are looking to buy or sell your Telecaster then the date is vital, this helps provide a provenance or authentic record for the guitar in question and that is one of the key factors which dictates its value.

The Fender Telecaster sits at the start of the evolutionary path of the solid bodied electric guitars and therefore has gone through many changes as the breakthroughs and new developments, technological advancements and revolutionary new ideas were applied to the art of guitar making.

Therefore, you can find No Casters with December 1950 neck dates, even though they didn't clip the decals and do final assembly till February 1951 (decal application was the last assembly step were always applied over the finish).