History of CF Martin Guitars

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History of CF Martin Guitars

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History of CF Martin Guitars


CF Martin Guitar has been manufacturing guitars of the highest acoustical quality for nearly two centuries. Indescribably good sound production and extraordinary longevity account for Martin’s sterling international reputation is the world’s finest guitar brand. Incredibly, this international conglomerate was spawned from a single German entrepreneur’s ambitious vision,  intense musical passion, and natural talent for fine workmanship.
Born Jan. 31, 1796, Christian F. Martin came into the world as the scion of an expert cabinet-making clan. The family’s prior connections with guitar construction before CF Martin’s commercial inception is largely unknown. His father’s success as a guitar craftsman is an established historical fact, however.
At just 15 years of age, C.F. Martin became the apprentice of renowned Austrian guitar craftsman, John Stauffer. Before long, Martin’s latent talents became obvious and earned him a promotion to the position of Stauffer’s shop foreman. The natural progression of events led Martin to return home and establish an independent guitar making operation of his own. Although this was a major positive milestone for Martin, his path to success was not entirely smooth …
Initial Conflicts
At that time, membership in the Cabinet Makers’ Guide was customary for German guitar makers.  When violins began to gain greater popularity, Violin Makers Guild members launched an aggressive campaign designed to effectively destroy Cabinet Makers Guild affiliates from practicing their trade.  This naturally sparked a highly acrimonious tug-of-war between both groups. C.F. Martin became its central antagonistic catalyst.  Cabinet Makers Guild members even used his family’s reputation as fine cabinet makers to bolster their self-interests by arguing that their craft was nearly indistinguishable from that of guitar makers!
A safe harbor
Martin finally had his full of the bickering and finite opportunities for market growth. Accordingly, he took matters into his own hands by moving to America on September 9, 1933.  Shortly after his arrival, he established a new professional sanctuary at 196 Hudson St., NY, NY.
With that, he proceeded to become a legend in his own time that continues to live on in the form of the CF Martin Guitar company. Although he encountered many subsequent setbacks and false starts, Martin successfully overcame them and eventually emerged to claim his rightful place among the world’s  best acoustic guitar producers. In the process, he also earned a well-deserved spot within the annals of Great American Success Stories. 

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