Electric Guitar Timeline

Fender Stratocaster
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This electric guitar timeline focuses upon the history of the electric guitar and the important figures who helped develop it. It is by no means exhaustive, but rather is an attempt to highlight certain important events. If you believe I've omitted an important person or event, please let me know in the comments box below.

1924 - Lloyd Loar of Gibson designs the electric pickup.

1931 - Invention of the "Frying Pan" electric guitar by Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp.

1936 - Gibson produces the ES-150, a favorite of Charlie Christian.

1940 - Les Paul builds the famous "log" guitar out of a 2x4 and an Epiphone guitar. While rejected by Gibson, it would set the stage for later deveopments.

1950 - Fender introduces its first production guitar, the Esquire (later to become the Broadcaster and Telecaster).

1952 - Gibson introduces the famed "Les Paul" guitar, named after the famed inventor and player though with no input from Les Paul himself. Gibson president Ted McCarty is the guiding force behind the introduction.

1954 - Fender introduces the Stratocaster. Originally a low cost production model along with the Telecaster, the Stratocaster (or "Strat") would end up becoming the most copied guitar in the world.

1955 - Seth Lover granted a patent for the first electric guitar humbucking pickup.

1958 - Gibson launches the Flying V and Explorer. Although the guitars are initially poorly received, they would eventually become popular with the rise of hard rock and heavy metal.

1958 - Gibson introduces the ES-335, the first production semi-hollow instrument, which is also the company's longest running production guitar.

1958 - Fender launches the Jazzmaster, finding favor primarily with instrumental and surf music.

1961 - Gibson launches the SG.

1962 - Founding of Marshall Amplification. Jim Marshall, a drum teacher who also ran a music store, responded to his young customers' desire for larger more powerful amplification.

1963 - Rickenbacker introduces the 12 string 360, a favorite with Beatle George Harrison.

1969 - Mesa Engineering founded, arguably the first "hot rodded" production amplifiers.

1980 - Jackson Guitars is founded, launching a decade's fascination with "hot rodded" guitars.

1985 - PRS Guitars is founded, merging the best of Gibson and Fender designs.

1992 - Parker Guitars is founded, offering one of the first truly unique innovations in guitar design in decades (along with Ned Steinberger's models).

Electric Guitar Timeline - Final Words

In less than a hundred years, the electric guitar has become one of the most popular musical instruments in history. Would you like to add a significant even to our timeline? Let me know!

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