A Martin isn’t just a guitar. It’s playable history; part of a long line of legendary instruments stretching back to the company’s beginnings in 1833. Our guitars were strummed by Civil War soldiers around campfires, helped shape the sound of modern music at the turn of the 20th century, and were played by music’s first superstars like Jimmie Rodgers and Gene Autry. Decades later, Martins floored the crowd at Woodstock, then took center stage on MTV Unplugged, and can be heard on countless classic and contemporary songs across all genres of music. Artists like Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Neil Young, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Seth Avett, and many others all played Martins, creating much of the soundtrack of the last century. And who knows? With one of our instruments in your hand, you could help write the soundtrack for the next century.
C. F. Martin & Co. has been family owned and operated since the first guitar came off Christian Frederick Martin’s first workbench in 1833. Six generations of the Martin family have steered the company through innumerable changes in the world and in music. Each generation has passed along to the next the things that matter most: dedication to craftsmanship, working with care and patience, maintaining the highest quality standards, taking the long view, and protecting the environment. It’s preserving tradition while changing with the times. When you purchase one of our instruments, you’ll understand exactly why it’s so important that Martin has remained a family business for so long.
Founder C. F. Martin Sr. invented X-bracing in the mid-19th century to strengthen a guitar’s body and generate richer tone—a technique still widely used. His experiments with design created the shape and sound of the American flat-top acoustic guitar you know today. Some decades later, Frank Henry Martin produced the Dreadnought, arguably the most important, most influential guitar body ever built. C. F. Martin IV broke new ground with the X Series and the revolutionary SC-13E. Balancing tradition with innovation is just one of the many things Martin does well. And always will.