Martin is perhaps the most well-known acoustic guitar brand in the world. The company was founded by Christian Frederick Martin in 1833, in New York City. The official company name is C.F. Martin & Company and if you look closely, you can read the full company name on the headstock of a lot of Martin guitars. C.F. Martin was born in Germany. He came from a long line of woodworkers and he took up an apprenticeship with a famous guitar builder in Austria. In 1833, C.F. Martin moved to the USA and founded the Martin company. In 1838, the business moved to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where they are still located today.

Martin’s pioneering guitar designs are nowadays copied by other manufacturers around the world. Martin is credited with developing the X-bracing system on the inside of the guitar’s body and they invented the 14-fret model: a guitar of which the neck joins the body at the 14th fret. This guitar model was named the Orchestra Model, a name that’s still used today. The most important, game-changing invention by Martin is the dreadnought guitar. This relatively big-bodied model was born in 1916 and it has since become a standard in acoustic guitar manufacturing. If you think of an acoustic guitar, you’ll probably have a picture of a dreadnought in mind.

The Martin company also manufactures other instruments like mandolins and ukeleles. Because of the rising demand for their guitars, Martin opened a new factory building in 1964 and a Custom Shop division opened in 1979. Some Martin instruments are made in Navojoa, Mexico. Nowadays, the brand is still going strong. Their high-quality guitars and guitar strings remain very popular and a lot of famous guitarists like John Mayer and Eric Clapton have a signature model in the Martin catalogue.

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