Introduced in 1936 and discontinued in 1942. Reintroduced in 1984.
Martin introduced the large body dreadnaught in 1932 - It was bigger, bolder, and louder than anything Gibson had to offer. At the time, the Nick Lucas model was the largest flat-top Gibson offered. It took Gibson 2 years to develop their response: The Jumbo of 1934. It was the heart of the depression and the instruments cost $60 without a case. They didn't sell well but did live up to their design intent of a heavier, booming tone with good overall balance. Dimensions: 16" wide, 10 1/4" long and 4 1/2" deep.
By 1936, with the depression still gripping the nation, Gibson moved to stay competitive and offer a more affordable option: The Advanced Jumbo ('Advanced' meaning that the size advanced: got bigger) with rosewood and fancier appointments that would compete with the Martin D-28 at $80 and the Jumbo 35 at $35 to compete with the Martin D-18.
It was a refinement of the slope-shoulder design of the original Jumbo but slightly deeper: 4 13/16".
Several cost-cutting measures existed between the Advanced Jumbo and the J-35 including scalloped braces on the advanced Jumbo and not on the J-35. Over time the J-35 braces began to appear scalloped. By 1939 the 3 tone bar system was reduced to 2 tone bars and the angle of the X braces change to approximately 95 degrees. This moved the X away from the soundhole a bit.
Between 1934 and 1938, Gibson only offered the sunburst finish. According to the Gibson catalog, natural finish was the only option in 1939 but we are told that at least 2 examples exist of a cherry sunburst from the same period. By 1941, either natural or sunburst were available. A total of 2,477 J-35s were made according to Gibson records.
The catalog page is from the Gibson 1937 catalog.