Skip to navigation

About Martin

About Martin

Welcome to C. F. Martin & Co.

C.F Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 175 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size. One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques along with those introduced by the company founder.

The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ line - the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, and the Martin SP line - which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.

Martin guitars and Martin Strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television (Glee, Psych, Raising Hope and American Idol) to the movies; on Broadway and in books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.

Over 175 Years of Martin

The company, founded in the U.S. has been continuously family owned and operated for six generations. Currently headed by Chairman and CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV, the company has been handed down five times since it was started by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin Sr. in 1833.

"Our signature product and Martin's seamless tradition of quality to this day remain a significant source of pride for my family and all of those who are involved in crafting these extraordinary instruments," said Martin Guitar Chairman and CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV. "Since 1833 musicians have connected with audiences everywhere the world over, showcasing their talent and virtuosity over all genres. Martin's significance and cultural impact over 175 years is simply immeasurable."

Embraced by artists all over the world, the Martin guitar has helped define virtually all genres of music, from classical and country to blues, folk and acoustic rock. The list of Martin players, past and present, reads like a Who's Who of the musical world and includes such legends as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and countless others.

Growth and Development

In 1833, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president was being sworn into a second term when the country was a mere 57 years into a union consisting of just 24 states. Since, C.F. Martin & Co. has survived a wide variety of economic, social and political upheavals including the Civil War, post-war turmoil, influxes of immigrant populations with varying tastes and customs, World War I, the "roaring 20s," the Great Depression, World War II, The Vietnam years and the technological revolution.

Through it all Martin not only survived but its reputation and outreach ultimately improved and increased. In recent years, despite the global economic downturn, Martin has been setting company sales records, crafted their millionth acoustic instrument, undergone a complete renovation and expansion of the Martin factory and unveiled an impressive new museum and visitor's center at their headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Unparalleled Reputation

Martin has earned an unparalleled reputation for dedication to exceptional quality and focus on one product - superbly well-crafted acoustic guitars. Their integrity and commitment to quality has maintained a level of respect in the marketplace that very few companies can boast. During the company's long history, Martin branched out into related fields, producing mandolins in the late 1800s, and becoming one of the top manufacturers of ukuleles in the 1920s. With the acquisition of the Darco String Company in 1970, quality fretted instrument strings have now become an integral part of C. F. Martin & Co.'s operations.

Responsible for creating a number of industry standards through the years, C.F. Martin & Co. developed "X-bracing," the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size - all of which have been copied by virtually every acoustic guitar manufacturer in the world. Recently Martin Guitar was honored by Readers Digest ("Americas 100 Best") and heralded by the New York Times ("Saving Trees is Music to Guitar Makers' Ears") for helping pioneer the guitar industry's eco-movement by developing instruments crafted from sustainable woods and innovative alternative materials.

Commitment

Current Chairman and CEO Christian ("Chris") Frederick Martin IV took the helm of the company in 1986. Under his leadership, the company has experienced unprecedented sales and production growth, maintained an extraordinary level of quality, introduced many new technologies, expanded the factory to nearly three times its prior size, integrated the model lineup with the introduction of many affordable guitars and has fortified the higher end with artist signature editions and vintage inspired recreations of historical Martin guitars.

Chris recently made a bold investment in the company's future with the construction of the new Martin Museum and Visitors Center, which has proved to be a significant draw for tourists and guitar aficionados alike. Through his vision, the company has shown a great commitment to the development of alternative materials and sustainable woods to ensure the future of Martin Guitar for generations to come.

Serial Numbers

Dating Your Martin Guitar
Year
Last Serial No.
1898 8348
1899 8716
1900 9128
1901 9310
1902 9528
1903 9810
1904 9988
1905 10120
1906 10329
1907 10727
1908 10883
1909 11018
1910 11203
1911 11413
1912 11565
1913 11821
1914 12047
1915 12209
1916 12390
1917 12988
1918 13450
1919 14512
1920 15848
1921 16758
1922 17839
1923 19891
1924 22008
1925 24116
1926 28689
1927 34435
1928 37568
1929 40843
1930 45317
1931 49589
1932 52590
1933 55084
1934 58679
1935 61947
1936 65176
Year
Last Serial No.
1937 68865
1938 71866
1939 74061
1940 76734
1941 80013
1942 83107
1943 86724
1944 90149
1945 93623
1946 98158
1947 103468
1948 108269
1949 112961
1950 117961
1951 122799
1952 128436
1953 134501
1954 141345
1955 147328
1956 153225
1957 159061
1958 165576
1959 171047
1960 175689
1961 181297
1962 187384
1963 193327
1964 199626
1965 207030
1966 217215
1967 230095
1968 241925
1969 256003
1970 271633
1971 294270
1972 313302
1973 333873
1974 353387
1975 371828
Year
Last Serial No.
1976 388800
1977 399625
1978 407800
1979 419900
1980 430300
1981 436474
1982 439627
1983 446101
1984 453300
1985 460575
1986 468175
1987 476216
1988 483952
1989 493279
1990 503309
1991 512487
1992 522655
1993 535223
1994 551696
1995 570434
1996 592930
1997 624799
1998 668796
1999 724077
2000 780500
2001 845644
2002 916759*
2003 978706
2004 1042558
2005 1115862
2006 1197799
2007 1268091
2008 1337042
2009 1406715
2010 1473461
2011 1555767
2012 1656742
2013 1755536
* Does not include serial numbers 900001 to 902908. These numbers were used on Sigma-Martins back in 1981-1982.

 

Dating Your Martin Mandolin
Year
Last Serial No.
1895 23
1896 112
1897 153
1898 359
1899 577
1900 800
1901 881
1902 1171
1903 1348
1904 1507
1905 1669
1906 2026
1907 2357
1908 2510
1909 2786
1910 3098
1911 3431
1912 3847
1913 4162
1914 4462
1915 4767
1916 5007
1917 5752
1918 6370
1919 7237
1920 8761
1921 9627
1922 10245
1923 11020
1924 11809
1925 12520
1926 13359
Year
Last Serial No.
1927 13833
1928 14170
1929 14630
1930 14892
1931 15290
1932 15476
1933 15528
1934 15729
1935 15887
1936 16156
1937 16437
1938 16580
1939 16747
1940 16957
1941 17263
1942 17405
1946 17641
1947 18303
1948 19078
1949 19559
1950 20065
1951 20496
1952 20902
1953 21452
1954 21952
1955 22254
1956 22629
1957 22985
1958 23111
1959 23262
1960 23512
1961 23663
Year
Last Serial No.
1962 23938
1963 24139
1964 24339
1965 24439
1966 24564
1967 24639
1968 24839
1969 24989
1970 25039
1971 25139
1972 25239
1973 25339
1974 25679
1975 25895
1976 26070
1976 260020*
1977 26101
1979 26112
1980 26156
1981 26215
1982 26225
1983 26247
1984 26254
1985 26263
1986 26273
1987 26279
1988 26281
1989 26283
1990 26291
1991 26297
1991 509122**
1993 533213
*1976 Serial numbers 259996-260020 were also used.
**1991 C. F. Martin & Co. begins using one set of serial numbers
for guitars & mandolins.
1994-2002 Mandolins are custom order only.
2002 Mandolin production ends.

Martin Timeline

a

Visit Martin

 

Martin Factory Tour Brochure

Every year thousands of guitar enthusiasts visit the Martin museum and factory to enjoy what's inside the world of Martin Guitar.


Factory Tour Information

Closed November 27, 2014 - November 28, 2014 for Thanksgiving.

Closed December 22, 2014 - January 2, 2015 for Christmas and New Year.

Information on guided factory tours, tour highlights, guidelines, public and group tour schedules

Map Directions

Martin Guitar is located in the town of Nazareth, within in the Lehigh Valley and near the eastern border of Pennsylvania.

Hours of Operation

The Martin Guitar Museum and Visitors Center hours and scheduled company events



Group Tour Request Form

Planning on visiting the Martin Guitar Company with a large group? Send a request and we will assist you in scheduling your event.


Tour Survey

If you have taken the tour at Martin Guitar, Take the Tour Survey. Your feedback is appreciated and always offers suggestion on how we can improve upon your visit.

 

MOCLOGOSMALL

Martin Owners Club

Visit our Martin Owners Club page for updates.



Fretboard Guitarist's Bucket List

No. 6 Fretboard Journal's Guitarist Bucket List Take a factory tour at C.F. Martin & Co in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.


Martin Virtual Tour

Interactive 360° images of the Factory building, Front lobby and the museum

 
 
 
 
 
Back to top

Email to Friend

From:
To:
Subject: