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Gibson Guitars

Orville Gibson founded the company that would carry his name in Michigan in 1902. The company originally produced mandolins based on the founder's designs, which were robust enough to be manufactured at scale. After Orville's death in 1918, designer Lloyd Loar created the L-5 archtop guitar and F-5 mandolin, models which would define the look and feel of the company's acoustic instruments.

In 1936, the company began producing their 'Electric Spanish' model, the ES-150, but it wasn't until 1952 that Gibson released their most iconic guitar. The Les Paul was a solid-body electric inspired and endorsed by the legendary guitarist himself. Along with the Fender Stratocaster, it has become one of the most-often copied guitar designs.

Other models include the Explorer and Flying V, whose radical shapes meant they weren't truly appreciated until after their initial 1958 releases, and the 'solid guitar' or SG, whicdropped in 1961. These models would prove critical as the company set about creating a modern image for itself more in line with the popular music of the time. The SG Standard remains Gibson's best-selling guitar to date. Famous Gibson players include Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Joan Jett, The Edge, and Pete Townshend.

Photo credit: Brayden Smith @bcsimaging

Harry Sayers playing a Gibson Les Paul
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