Electric Guitar Timeline

Eighteenth Century

   September 4: 1882: The nation's first electric operating power station opens in Manhattan.

   September 2, 1890:  The first patent for an electric guitar design is given to George Breed. The instrument is small and extremely heavy and it produces an
                                      unusual, continually sustained sound.

1900s - 1920s

    December 10, 1902: The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company is founded.

   January 29. 1907: Dr. Lee Forest patents the first amplification device, the triode vacuum tube.

    1921: The first paper-cone loudspeaker is developed by Charles W. Rice and Edward W. Kellogg.

    1928/1929: The Stromberg-Vioisnet Electro, the commercial electric guitar guitar, is introduced to general indifference.


    1932: The production of the Ro-Pat-In Electro A-25 "Frying Pan" hits the market. It is hailed as the first successful commercially produced electric guitar.

    October 31, 1932: Guitarist Gage Brewer gives what is regarded as the first public electric guitar performance at the Shadowland Pavilion in Wichita, Kansas.

    1933: Electric guitar models are introduced by Gibson, Vivi Tone, and Debro.

    1935: Electric guitar models are introduced by Audiovox, Epiphone, and Volu-tone. 

    November 20, 1938: Gibson delivers the first ES-150, which achieves unprecedented notoriety due to n large part to its endorsement by prominent great
    players of the day, such as Eddie Dickinson and Floyd Smith.

    March 31, 1938: American swing guitarist George Barmes makes the first commercial recording of an electric guitar, in sessions with blues artist Big Bill

    August 16, 1939: Charlie Christian is invited to play in Benny Goodman's sextet. By February, 1940, Christian and his ES-150 dominates jazz and swing polls,      as he becomes the first widely acclaimed electric guitar hero.

    ca,1939: Les Paul begins work on the :"Log" solid body electric guitar.


    1945: "It"s Been a Long, Long Time" Bing Crosby's first record with the Les Paul Trio, becomes a hit.

    1946: The Fender Electric Instrument Company is launched.

    1947: The single release "Lover" debuts Les Paul"s "New Sound" It is recorded on a revolutionary multitrack device invented by the guitarist, and features a
    staggering eight electric guitar parts, all by Les Paul;.

    April 1948:  Muddy Waters creates two landmark black recordings, "I Can"t Be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home," featuring the bottleneck slide on an
    amplified guitar.

    May 25:, 1948  Work is completes on the Travis-Bigsby solid body electric guitar.


   1950:  The Fender Broadcaster solid-body electric guitar is introduced; it is renamed the Telecaster the following year.

   1951: The Fender Precision Bass is introduced. It is the first electric bass to achieve widespread attention.

   1962: The Gibson Les Paul solid-body electric guitar is introduced.

   1953: The Gretsch Duo Jet is introduced.

   1954: The Fender Stratocaster is introduced.

   1955: The Gretsch Chet Atkins 6130 is introduced.

   January 27, 1956: Elvis Presley releases :Heart Break hotel," arranged by Guitarist Atkins. It is the first song to top pop, country, and R&B charts

   January, 1958: Chuck Berry records the ultimate guitar anthem, "Johnny B. Goode," using his Gibson ES-350T. It is a major hit with both black and white


   1962: Gibson is the first to market with a mass-produced fuzz, the Maestro Fuzz-Tone (FZ-1).

   February 8, 1964:The Beatles make their U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. George Harrison performs on a Gretsch Country Gentleman and John Lennon
   plays a Rickenbacker 325.

   Autumn 1964: Peter Townsend of the Who smashes his guitar for the first time, onstage at the Rainbow Hotel, London.

   1965: Cashing in on the guitar fad sweeping America, Japan floods the U.S. market with hundreds of thousands cheap guitars.

   January, 1965: CBS aquires Fender Musical Instruments.

   July 25, 1965: Folk musician Bob Dylan embraces the electric guitarist the Newport Folk Festival, and sets off a firestorm of controversy. He is accompanied by
  electrical guitarist Mike Bloomfield, who becomes one of the archetypical guitar heroes of the rock era.

   July 1966: Blues Breaker: John Mayal with Eric Clapton album is released. Clapton's virtuosity and larger than-life sound  - a Les Paul  through an early
   Marshall amp - play a major role in ushering in the era of the guitar era.

   November, 1966: The first wah-wah pedal is created by Warwick Electronics Inc./Thomas Organ Company.

   1979: Guitar Player, a popular magazine for guitarists, is founded.

   May 12, 1967:  "Are You Experienced," the debut album of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, is released.  Hendrix is eventually acknowledged as the greatest guitar
   player ever.

   August 15-18, 1968:  Jimi Hendrix closes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair with a set that includes "The Star Spangled Banner," a solo piece showcasing
   modern guitar innovations such as  feedback and distortion.


   January 2, 1970: Gruden Guitars opens in Nashville, Tennessee. It becomes the flagship for the burgeoning vintage guitar market, attracting the likes of Duane
   Allman, Hank Williams Jr. and Eric Clayton.

   1972: Larry Demur builds and markets his first Super Distortion pickup, kicking off  the replacement parts revolution.

   1976: A nineteen-year-old Paul Reed Smith sells one of the first handmade instruments to hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent.

   ca. 1957: Eddie Van Halen constructs the first "Frankensstrat" guitar, using parts from a Gibson ES-334 and replacement guitar bodies and necks by Boogie

   October  28, 1977: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols is released.

   1979: The first "Headless" Steinberger bass made entirely out of graphite and carbon fiber mix, is introduced.


   1980: Guitar World, a popular magazine, is founded.

   August 1, 1981: MTV debuts on cable television., programming pop music videos twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

   February 13, 1983: The single : "Beat It," is written performed by Michael Jackson, featuring Eddie Van Halen on lead guitar, is released. The video of the song
   is often as paving the way for black artists on MTV.1985: Paul Reed Smith produces the first factory built  PRD Custom.

   1987:  Ibanez introduces the Steve Vai JEM series. It is followed in 1990 with the Universe series, a seven-string version of the JEM.


   March 21, 1991: Leo Fender dies at the age of 81.

   1998: Billionaire Paul Allen buys the Hendrix Woodstock Strat for $2 million.

   1999: Jack White of White Stripes purchases a vintage 1966 Montgomery Ward Airline guitar from Detroit musician Jack Yarber. White's eventual successes
   revives interest in what many had considered "junk" guitars from the fifties and sixties.


   2001: Canada's"s Eastwood Guitars launches a line of Valco Airline copy guitars.

   June 13, 2001: Glenn Branca conducts the his Symphony No.  13:Hallucination City for a 100 electric guitars at the base of World Trade Center in New York.

   August 12, 2009: Les Paul d]es at the age of 94.

   2016: The Ernie Ball St.Vincent signature model guitar is introduced, Annie Clark St. Vincent designed the guitar. Among its many features is better
   accommodation for female. players.

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