Martin guitar history dating
and serial numbers were added, beginning with #8000.
First, they stamped the logo on the back of the peghead (from circa 1895).
Visitors can see pictures of famous guitar owners, try out some guitars, or take a factory tour. 'Chris' Martin IV, is the great-great-great-grandson of the founder.
The company has been run by the Martin family throughout its history. The firm was the first to introduce many of the characteristic features of the modern flat top, steel-string acoustic guitar. Martin was born in 1796 in Markneukirchen, Germany, and came from a long line of cabinet makers and woodworkers.
Some of these turn up and vary from the standard instruments, but they are usually very nice and are frequently signed by the maker.
Some pre-1898 guitars have the date penciled on the top just inside the sound hole.
Martin also built mandolins (introduced in 1895), ukuleles (introduced in 1915), taropatches (an 8-stringed ukulele), tiples (a 10-stringed ukulele), Hawaiian guitars, and tenor banjos (in 1923) plus a few custom instruments.
Zoebisch & Sons was the exclusive distributor of all Martin instruments, and that name appears on a paper label inside the sound hole. Beginning in 1929 the model numbers were marked on the neck block, inside the body.
Thus, there is scant information on the brand – mostly anecdotes in far-flung strands of the internet; suppositional at least, unsubstantiated at best.
In an attempt to remedy the situation, we offer this guide to the essential information on the enigmatic brand.