The Martin Guitar Company has been making guitars since 1833. The current CEO is the 5th generation of Martin’s to run the company.
The business started in New York City but moved to Pennsylvania after a few years, being located in Nazareth ever since.
As you enter the facility you are immediately greeted by the company museum.
The museum houses over 130 guitars from the 1830s until now. It is striking to see how similar they are from 200 years ago.
In addition to the guitars they have some components from over the years.
The craftsmanship is amazing.
Martin also makes ukuleles and mandolins.
The museum housed some custom ones, including one from the Grand Ole’ Opry.
Having finished the museum portion, we headed out on the factory tour. The guide handed each person a headset and we headed out. First stop was where they are ‘booking the wood’, basically splitting it and attaching the pieces so the grain matches and is wide enough for the body.
Nearly all of the manufacturing is done by hand.
After formed they sit for an extensive amount of time with their collection of clothes pins to hold it together.
The build process involves weeks and months of time as components dry.
Fret board assembly.
It was amazing the workers could focus with the continual tours walking by taking their photos.
A polishing/sanding station.
Closer to being completed, but still more waiting – it takes months to get a custom guitar from Martin.
One of the few automated functions – a polisher.
Note someone from a tour watching the worker.
This person was applying the detail around the edge of the body of the guitar.
Similar to this worker – their lighting has been custom built to provide the optimum view.
The work continues….
Throughout the plant….
Applying the strings.
And a final polish.
Before a test drive!
The visit to the Martin Guitar Factory Tour is easily one of the best we have done. Having the chance to walk the factory floor and take great photos of the quality work and hard working craftsman was fantastic.
If you ever get the chance to go to Nazareth, Pennsylvania and visit them – it is well worth the effort.