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Vintage images tell story of the world’s oldest stringed instrument maker

Telling a story in pictures is C.F. Martin & Co., the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The book by author and Martin employee Dick Boak, with a Foreword by C.F. Martin IV, is set to release on August 18, 2014. The book boasts 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published, and chronicles the evolution of the iconic family guitar business.

“Some people think I have the best job in the world,” Boak said. “I guess I must agree, as I get to work on great little books about Martin guitars, like this one!”

The formula for C.F. Martin & Co.’s success has always been an unparalleled commitment to precise handcraftsmanship blended with optimum tonewoods, innovation, and singular design. This family business has persevered from the Civil War through the present and remains the oldest surviving maker of stringed instruments in the world. It is the largest and most respected producer of acoustic guitars in America.

The images in this book trace the remarkable development of the acoustic guitar in the hands of six generations of Martin family members who have managed the business from 1833 to today. C.F. Martin & Co. captures the buildings, employees, musicians, and exquisite instruments that have contributed to a lasting legacy. 

Join the Author for a Book Signing!
When: Friday, September 12, 2014; 6-8 pm
Where: Barnes & Noble
2960 Center Valley Parkway, Suite 742 Center Valley, PA 18034
*With a special acoustic performance by blues guitarist Craig Thatcher

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit

About the Author of C.F. Martin & Co.
Dick Boak has managed Artist Relations and Publicity, as well as the Museum and Archives for the world renowned Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, PA. He established and manages Martin’s highly visible Limited Edition guitar program, which has produced signature models for more than 20 legendary artists, including Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffet, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Sting.

An employee since 1976, Boak has worn many hats at Martin. Originally hired as a design draftsman, he has been a builder of prototypes, manager of “The 1833 Shop,” founder of “A Woodworker’s Dream” (which evolved into “Guitarmaker’s Connection”), and manager of Martin’s in-house advertising department and print shop.

In addition to his varied responsibilities at Martin, he was instrumental in founding A.S.I.A. (The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans). He edited and published A.S.I.A.’s Guitarmaker Magazine from 1989 to 1995 and organized A.S.I.A’s many bi-annual Symposiums.

Boak is an accomplished and published illustrator, writer, designer, woodworker, guitarmaker and occasional musician.

C.F. Martin & Co.
by Dick Boak, foreward by C.F. Martin IV
Images of America Series
Price: $21.99 128 pages/ softcover
Available: August 18, 2014


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