C.F. Martin & Co. is proud of its continued relationship with country music. From the very beginning with some of the earliest country stars like Jimmie Rodgers and Maybelle Carter, to the most recent crop of country talent, Martin Guitar has been part of the journey. We are pleased to tell this story along with Ken Burn's production company Florentine Films in the newest addition to our world renowned museum, the Country Music's Longest Running Star exhibit.
From the earliest known Martin guitar to exist to the world famous Dreadnought, the Martin museum has well over a hundred guitars on display. Whether you want to look at antique gut string models, an ultra-rare 1930 OM-45 De Luxe or Kurt Cobain's D-18, we have almost two centuries of the finest hand built guitars to examine.
The ukulele was a pivotal instrument in the history of C.F. Martin & Co. In the mid-1920s Martin was building five times more ukuleles than guitars so their popularity was a key component to sustaining the company during the Great Depression. Additionally, there were many firsts for Martin when they started building mandolins. They were the first instruments the company built that used steel strings, pickguards, and fingerboard inlays and to be build in batches or shop orders.
Our museum showcases some of the most elaborately inlaid guitars in the world. From the hand inlaid Serial #1,000,000 to Serial #2,000,000 to the "Watch Guitar," you will be mesmerized by the craftsmenship and ingenuity involved in creating these showpiece instruments.
If you're interested in how C.F. Martin & Co. has built guitars since the beginning, we have the company's earliest hand tools on display as well as a work bench from our storied North Street Factory. Also our archives contain hundreds of thousands of items and we have many of them on display. Whether it's one of Roy Rogers Nudie suits, photos of famous Martin players or a Gene Autry signed baseball, we have unique items that are worth checking out just as much as our guitars.