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Martin
Mandolins previously produced in Nazareth, PA between 1939 and 2002, in New York between 1833 and 1839, and in Mexico (Backpacker Series) between 1999 and 2006. Acoustic guitars are still currently produced. Distributed by Martin in Nazareth, PA.
Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. was born in 1796 and came from a woodworking background. He learned guitar building as an employee for Johann Stauffer and became Stauffer's foreman in Austria. In 1825, Martin left Stauffer and returned to Germany, his birthplace. Martin and his family emigrated to America in 1833 and set up a full line music store in New York. In 1939, Martin and his family moved to Nazareth, PA. However, because of a contract with C.A. Zoebich & Sons, they had the New York label until 1898. They produced guitars just outside of town making more straight forward designs, rather than the European that Martin learned. In 1852, Martin standardized his body sizes with 0, 1, 2, 3, etc.
In 1867, the C.F. Martin & Company was introduced and lines were expanded. In 1896 the first Martin mandolins began being produced. In 1898 a serialization system was started and every guitar featured a serial number. Martin has produced mandolins ever since 1896 with the exception of 1943-45 because of the war, and 1978, 1989, and 1990. In 1991, Martin incorporated mandolin serialization in with guitar serialization. Production of mandolins remianed steady with between 500 and 1,000 mandolins typically produced every year up until the 1960s, when interest in mandolins began wane. When Martin went through some tough times in the 1970s and early 1980s, mandolin production was down to as little as 10 per year. Martin offered mandolins in their catalogs and price lists through 1995, and took customer orders through 2002 when they ended mandolin production entirely with the exception of the Martin Backpacker Mandolin that was produced in Mexico and offered through 2006.
Martin is a unique company in that Martin has always been a family owned company. The current president and CEO, C.F. Martin IV, is a direct anscetor of the original Christian Martin. Information courtesy: Mike Longworth Martin Guitars: A History, and George Gruhn and Walter Carter: Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars.

From Blue Book Publications:


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