Inside the Martin Guitar Factory

Overhead view of the machine room
C.F. Martin Guitar Factory

The most highly regarded manufacturer of acoustic guitars, the C.F. Martin Guitar Company has been producing their high quality guitars in Nazareth, Pennsylvania since 1833. The company began with Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. and has been family operated and owned ever since. A guided tour of the Martin Guitar factory takes you through the steps necessary to produce these quality instruments.

C.F. Martin Guitars – 300 Steps

C.F. Martin is the oldest maker of acoustic guitars in the world and the largest producer in the United States. More than 300 steps are involved from raw wood to one finished product.  Here you’ll see pictures of some of the steps that it takes to make one guitar at a time.

Overhead Machine Room01 7-8-08

Overhead view of the machine room


Shaping the wood


Putting clothespins to good use

Claire Frances Martin

C.F. Martin Guitar Company has been handed down for six generations to the first-born son of the current owner. Christopher Martin IV is presently the CEO of C.F. Martin, his daughter Claire Frances will be the seventh generation and the first female to run the company. Claire Frances was born September 13, 2004, and she’s already in training.


C.F. Martin’s unique development, the “X” bracing system was developed in the 1850′s. It is used on all Martin steel-string guitars and is responsible for the unmistakeable Martin sound.

X-bracing design

C.F. Martin Survives

The C.F. Martin Guitar Company survived through the Civil War, two World Wars and countless technological revolutions. Their success is based on the production of one exceptionally high quality product…acoustic guitars.

Martin guitars hold the industry standard for quality craftsmanship and superb products. A visit to the C. F. Martin & Co. guitar factory is a combination of rich history and modern technology.

Prior to taking the factory tour, visitors can purchase souvenirs in the 1833 Shop and explore the guitar museum. For those so inclined, there is a wall of guitars for anyone to sit and play. On that wall are some high-end guitars and some new products.

Some famous Martin owners include Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton. This list of course, goes on and on.

All photos by Candy Dorsey

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