When you think of guitars, even if you're not an avid player, a few names come to mind. There are Fender guitars and there are Gibson guitars. Fender got its start back in 1938 when they opened a radio repair store. It was not until 1954 though that the famous Fender Strat guitar hit the market. Gibson, on the other hand was established back in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan by a man named Orville Gibson, and his start was not with fixing radios.
Orville started his company to produce mandolins. Back in 1898 he patented the first single piece mandolin that was durable and also able to be mass marketed. He began to sell his instruments in the late 1800's and ever came across a design for an arch top guitar, something that had not been seen before. By the 1930's the company were making flat top acoustic guitars as well as one of the first commercially available hollow body electric guitars to hit the market.
Sadly, Orville Gibson died a few years after his company was founded in 1902 but his legacy lives on to this day. It is this company, of course, that manufactures the ultra popular and iconic Gibson Les Paul, a guitar named after Les Paul, an influential musician in the 1950's. Today these guitars are still as legendary as ever and are highly collectible, which of course also means that they are widely imitated.
Today, through various deals and partnerships, Gibson also makes instruments under other brand names like Epiphone, Kramer, and Tobias to name a few. They also manufacture electronic products through household names like Philips and Pioneer.
Think a Gibson is just too expensive? Well, never fear as the company actually produces its own authorized copies of the successful guitar lines. While they do not have the famous Gibson logo, they are still crafted to their high standard and are more affordable than the main branded ones.
Many famous guitarists play Gibson guitars, but you do not have to be a highly paid rock star to do so. Those who like quality, history, the collectability factor and want to play like the pros can also get their hands on a Gibson and make beautiful music. Whether you are impressed with the Les Paul model or any of the others, Gibson has been known for generations as one of the best places to get a guitar. From humble beginnings great great things.