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Mandolins currently produced in New Hartford, CT and overseas since 1994. Distributed by KMC Music in Bloomfield, CT. The Ovation trademark was established in 1967.
The Ovation guitar company, and the nature of the Ovation guitar´s synthetic back are directly attributed to founder Charles H. Kaman´s experiments in helicopter aviation. Kaman, who began playing guitar back in high school, trained in the field of aeronautics and graduated from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. His first job in 1940 was with a division of United Aircraft, home of aircraft inventor Igor Sikorsky. In 1945, Kaman formed the Kaman Aircraft Corporation to pursue his helicopter-related inventions.
As the company began to grow, the decision was made around 1957 to diversify into manufacturing products in different fields. Kaman initially made overtures to the Martin company, as well as exploring both Harmony and Ludwig drums. Finally, the decision was made to start fresh. Due to research in vibrations and resonances in the materials used to build helicopter blades, guitar development began in 1964 with employees John Ringso and Jim Rickard. In fact, it was Rickard´s pre-war Martin D-45 that was used as the "test standard." In 1967, the Ovation company name was chosen, incorporated, and settled into its "new facilities" in New Hartford, Connecticut. The first model named that year was the Balladeer.
Ovation guitars were debuted at the 1967 NAMM show. Early players and endorsers included Josh White, Charlie Byrd, and Glen Campbell. Piezo pickup equipped models were introduced in 1972, as well as other models. During the early 1970s, Kaman Music (Ovation´s parent company) acquired the well-known music distributors Coast, and also part of the Takamine guitar company. By 1975, Ovation decided to release an entry level instrument, and the original Applause/Medallion/Matrix designs were first built in the U.S. before production moved into Korea.
Ovation guitars continued to gain popularity. In 1994, Ovation introduced mandolins and mandocellos into their line. They follow the Ovation design with bowl backs and the unique soundholes. On January 31, 2011 Charles Kaman passed away at the age of 91. Information courtesy: Walter Carter, The History of the Ovation Guitar.

From Blue Book Publications:

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