In 1964, the C.F. Martin & Co. made a major decision by moving to their now home of 510 Sycamore Street in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The red barn look of the new factory is meant to resemble their first factory. When the Martin family first moved to Pennsylvania in 1835, they had purchased the land in which the current facility resides. The overall success and endurance of the company has allowed many generations of professional and amateur musicians to fall in love with the instruments that are made here.
Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., a cabinet maker from
Markneukirchen, Germany, traveled to Vienna to be an apprentice to Johann
Staffer, a guitar maker. When he moved
back to his hometown, a hefty dispute arose between the Cabinet Makers Guild
and the Violin Makers Guild. When Martin
grew tired of his limited opportunities to practice his craft, he and his
family immigrated to New York City in September of 1833. Martin set up shop at 196 Hudson Street on
the Lower West Side. Martin’s business
partner, Henry Schatz, disliked the scenery of New York so much, that he
purchased a 55-acre parcel of land near the town of Nazareth in 1836. When the Martin family discovered that the
rolling hills resembled their beloved homeland, they made the move to Nazareth
and purchased an 8-acre tract on the outskirts of the town.
With the years leading up to the Great Depression, guitars
sales were the best they had ever been.
But when the year 1929 rolled around, the company went from an idea of increasing
sales, to just trying to survive. With
sales having plummeted, the workers had to stay busy somehow. They began to experiment in new designs in an
effort to raise the public’s interest.
In that experimenting, the “dreadnought” guitar and the 14-fret neck
were created and has had a lasting impact on the company.
In 1986, C.F. Martin IV became the CEO and Chairman of the
company. Sales and production began to
surge. The factory was then expanded to accommodate
the demand in product. Chris made an
investment in creating the Martin museum and Visitors Center, proving to be a
place for tourists and music lovers.
The influence that the C.F. Martin & Co. has been a well
regarded standard in the craftsmanship of making guitars. Throughout the years, artists have chose to
use Martin guitars for their quality and reliable sound. Artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Eric
Clapton and many more. Through every
genre of music, Martin guitars will forever be a name that is recognized with