History of the Electric Guitar

  • America- Thomas Edison

    America- Thomas Edison
    Thomas EdisonThomas Edison creates a coin sized phonograph that can play music from wax cylinders. Edison's design would later be used in the creation of the first radio, an import peice of technology in the history of electric guitars.
  • Guitar- Gibson

    Guitar- Gibson
    GibsonFounded in 1902, Gibson is one of the most successful manufacturers of acoustic and electric guitars in the world. Based in Nashville, Tenessee, the Gibson Guitar Corporation owns many famous brands including Epiphone, Baldwin, Garrison and Wurlitzer.
  • Guitar- First Pickup

    Guitar- First Pickup
    LlyodLloyd Loar, an engineer from the factory Gibson used a magnet to change the vibrations of guitar strings into electrical signals, which could be amplified by a loudspeaker. This breakthrough was the first step toward an electric guitar.
  • America- Amplifier

    America- Amplifier
    amplifierAmerican Musical Insturments develops the first amplifier to play records from a phonograph. The amps they create can later be modified so that electric guitars can run through them.
  • America- Stock Market Crash

    America- Stock Market Crash
    Wall street has their biggest losses in history plunging America into a depression. The depression harshly decreases the amount of consumer sales, thus decresaing the amount of money put toward electric guitar funding.
  • Guitar- First Electric Guitar

    Guitar- First Electric Guitar
    The Frying PanAdolph Rickenbacker attached a electromagnetic pickup to their aluminum lap-steel guitar, dubbed it "The Frying Pan". This is considered the first electric guitar.
  • Guitar- First Fully Electric Guitar

    Guitar- First Fully Electric Guitar
    Sidney WilsonPhyscics professor Sidney Wilson wins North Carolina engineering fair with his invention of the first fully electric guitar.
  • Guitar- Les Paul

    Guitar- Les Paul
    Les PaulUnhappy with earlier designs Les Paul unveils his solid body guitar, the first non-hollow guitar. This new guitar, called the Log, increased the sound quality of electric guitars.
  • America- WWII

    America- WWII
    WWIIAmerica declares war on Japan, entering the United States into WWII. The rationing during the war leaves little money left over to spend on consumer products like the guitar.
  • Period: to

    America- Economic Growth

    GDPAmerica begins buying goods that had not been available during WWII. This increases GDP and causes an increase in corporate expansion.
  • Guitar- Precision Bass

    Guitar- Precision Bass
    BassLeo Fender later introduces the first electric bass, called the Precision bass. It was the first bass to use frets, making it much more accurate than stand up basses.
  • Guitar- Leo Fender

    Guitar- Leo Fender
    BroadcasterLeo Fender, founder of Fender Guitars unveils his first guitar the Broadcaster. This guitar is the first electric guitar to abandon the acoustic guitar style.
  • Guitar- Stratocaster

    Guitar- Stratocaster
    StratocasterLeo Fender relesases the Stratocaster, a revolutionary guitar because it utilized 3-pickups instead of the original 2.
  • Guitar- Humbuckers

    Guitar- Humbuckers
    HumbuckerThe Gibson guitar company develops the first humbucker pickups. These pickups are double wound so they cancelled noise giving the guitar a cleaner sound.
  • America- Elvis

    America- Elvis
    ElvisRCA releases Elvis' song "Heartbreak Hotel", his first #1 hit.
  • Guitar- Flying V and Explorer

    Guitar- Flying V and Explorer
    look goodGibson release the Flying V and explorer guitars. These are the first guitars that were designed to look good rather than sound good.
  • America- FM Broadcasts

    America- FM Broadcasts
    FM The Federal Communications Commission approves FM stereo broadcasts. This is the first platform for rock n' roll music, the main kind of music that electric guitar is used for.
  • America- Vietnam

    America- Vietnam
    The Vietnam war beings. This war is fought in Vietnam but funded by the United States and Soviet governments. This destructive and ultimately costly war dissilusions the youth pushing them to reject ideals and live more rebellious lives; and with rebellion comes new music that relies heavily on guitars.
  • America- Summer of Love

    America- Summer of Love
    Hippies gathered in San Francisco to discuss ways of making the world a better place. Rock music serves as a key inspiration to the hippies. The different psychedelic sounds created by electric guitars are thought of by hippies using LSD.
  • America- Woodstock

    America- Woodstock
    The Woodstock music festival is hosted in Bethel, New York. Bands like the Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan performed. The guitar style and sounds of Jimi Hendrix are still iconic today.
  • America- Microsoft

    America- Microsoft
    Bill Gates starts the company Microsoft. Microsoft would later go on to market some of the first home computers and help fund some of the most important research into microchips. Microchips will later be used in guitars.
  • Guitar- Robot Guitar

    Guitar- Robot Guitar
    Gibson relesase the Robot Guitar, designed by Chris Adams. The guitars are built with microchips in them that automatically tune the guitar as the guitarist is playing.