I thought it was just my faulty memory but I saw a YouTube video of an interview with Gene Cornish of The Rascals when asked what gauge strings he used in the 60's on his Gibson Barney Kessel he mentions that in the 1960's there were no custom strings gauges. Strings were sold in sets usually starting with a 12 gauge E string and a 29 gauge wound G string. I also read that the five spring tree on Fender Strat trems was because Fender Strats came standard with a 12 gauge string sets through the mid 1960's and those extra springs were needed.

That got me wondering does anyone know when multi gauge sets became commonly available? Outside of a brief history on Ernie Ball who started selling custom made 24 gauge G strings in the mid 60's I found very little information. Funny to realize that 9-10 and 11 gauge strings were not available when I started playing.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 2, 2015,
As far as I can remember I started seeing different string gauges in the late 60's. I played the Black Diamond strings usually available at most drugstores at that time, kinda resembled telephone wires...

Players like Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page started out by using banjo strings and getting an extra one for the low E back then, the demand for lighter string gauges to approximate that for professional players got the string companies into making lighter gauges, but I'm not sure when.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
I've got no direct experience, apparently before the middle sixties 12 gauge strings were considered light, bending was not a commonly used technique and that's why Fender used very round fretboard radiuses back then.

that guitar is like falling in love with a stripper
modded Squier Strats
I started playing in the early '70s and there were different gauge sets available then.