A Virtual Museum of

Vintage Martin Guitars

a free e-book

Illustrating and Exploring the Development of the
Martin Acoustic

Created by Folk and Roots Music Photographer Robert Corwin

Featuring Instruments Exclusively from the Phyllis, Jerry, and Robert Corwin Collections


"perfecting the art of 'guitar porn' ... 

This site is an amazing labor-of-love, quite possibly the most in-depth, photo-intensive look ever at old, pre-war (and in many cases antique) Martin guitars … All online and for free."

--Jason Verlinde
The Fretboard Journal

"Without any hesitation I can say that in my opinion, the website that Robert has created is the most valuable source of information on Early Martin Guitars in existence today, in or out of print."

Bill Cappell, Early Martin Researcher

Robert's photographs can also be seen in the books "Martin Guitars, a History"
and "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference" by Johnston, Boak & Longworth

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A Note About this Web Site...

I've made the choice to present this information on the web for free, rather than publish a printed book, for a number of compelling reasons:

First and foremost, to make a comprehensive resource available to all of you,

...regardless of your means,

...at any time, in any place,

...where ever in the world you are,

...even on your smartphone. 

Publishing on the web insures that the information presented can always be state of the art.  It has allowed me to be the first to make crucial information available, not withholding information until a publication date, or missing out on including information obtained after the book is published, which can make any book obsolete.  I may at some time decide to publish a physical book as well, but have no intention to replace these free web sites to impress or profit from a book on glossy paper.

This project was never about the money, and fortunately I've been able to fund this project myself and share the results without charging.  Making smart choices has allowed me to assemble a humbling and unrivaled collection of instruments illustrating the evolution of the contemporary flat top steel string guitar in America, from C.F. Martin's first creations of the 1830's, along with their predecessors and contemporaries, through the innovations of the teens and the treasures of the "pre-war" "Golden Era" of the 1930's and '40s, all created during Franks Henry Martin's reign.  Having a wide sample of instruments in-hand, including the largest collection of "pre-partnership" Martins I know of, and including the most influential transitional ones, has allowed me to devote several years of my life to careful study and research, to produce thousands of photos, including hundreds that allow us to virtually walk through the interiors of the instruments, to take careful measurements, and to demonstrate incontrovertible conclusions based on direct observation. 

C.F. Martin produced exquisite guitars, and I've been fortunate to assemble some of the most beautiful, but I realized early on that any serious scholarly research must also take seriously Martin's "bread and butter", the more typical less expensive examples, rather than fall into the trap of relying on the "eye candy" of less typical "presentation guitars" merely because they impress.  While more of the less expensive guitars were produced, the fancier guitars were more likely to survive.

I've chosen to apply my 50+ years of experience photographing musicians, as the sole President's Fellow in Photography and Design at Rhode Island School of Design, and as a professional designer with a background in publishing, to set a new, higher bar for graphic, vivid detail photos that I'm flattered to find have been emulated already, sometimes in all too obvious ways.  Producing the photos myself has allowed me to avoid the outside industry funding used to help other projects cover the high cost of paying a commercial photographer, keeping this project free of undue influence. 

While I'm blessed to have nearly all of the foremost experts on vintage Martin guitars as good friends, and I owe thanks to all of them, I've been careful not to put myself in a position where I owe anything to any person or commercial entity, that might interfere with my objectivity, or keep me from presenting information fully, so I can let the chips fall where they may, not having to worry about who may be offended by my findings, or who will "look good".

www.earlymartin.com contains 67 chapters.  www.vintagemartin.com is 109 chapters, and growing.  A book would not allow nearly as much detail, nearly so many photos, or the large number of free full-size downloadable diagrams. 

And we're just getting started!

Don't believe that producing a web site rather than a book is a compromise in any way.  I make few compromises.

More than simply a free e-book, I believe this project will one day be recognized as a unique example of creating in public, an inclusive personal process I expect will become commonplace in the future.  

This web site will always be a work in progress.  Not all sections are complete - some have not been started yet.  Not all links work.  I've just reorganized the entire web site, and the pieces continue to come together, but there are still holes and place holders.  Feel free to enjoy what's here, and check back for further additions, refinements, and corrections as you wish.  I look forward to adding specific thanks to the many friends and experts who have helped make this possible, along with links to other helpful resources, as well as an index.

  No project is perfect.  Perhaps my biggest asset is having you as partners, in daily communication, alerting me to new information, and providing an unprecedented team of proofreaders, rather than have me grit my teeth over a newly published book filled with typos that will annoy forever.  :)  Thanks!

I thought you might want to take advantage of what we have so far.

Please let me know what you think.

Robert Corwin

  January 29, 2016

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One of the most gratifying aspects of this project has come in the form of notes received from luthiers I admire telling me that the site has provided information useful for the restoration or repair of vintage instruments or the building of innovative new ones.

"The internet is another good source of reference.  One website with good close up photos of vintage instruments... that I particularly like is vintagemartin.com. 
It is possible to extrapolate measurements from some of these photos if you already know the dimensions of other details in the photo.  That type of thing can be very useful..."

Guild of American Luthiers, 2011 Convention Keynote Lecture by Joe Konkoly, Head of repair at Elderly Instruments.

Please let me know how the site may be more useful in the future.

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Start here if you're looking for help

Identifying C. F. Martin Acoustic Guitars

A Martin Timeline

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~ Download the above headstock image as a 1680 pixel Screensaver, free for your personal use as my gift to you! ~

~ Click on the headstock image below and download a hi-res file to create a high quality 11" x 14" photographic print, suitable for framing, free for your personal use as my gift to you! ~

~ Download any of nineteen full size 1:1 diagrams, with precise measurements of fifteen important early Martin, Panormo, Recio of Cadiz, Schmidt & Maul guitars,
a 1917 Martin/Ditson Standard "baby Dreadnaught", a 1929 12 fret 000-28, an early 1930 OM-28, and a 1944 000-18, all free for your personal use. ~

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Obtaining Proper Permits for Shipping Vintage Instruments Overseas from the USA

Complying with

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

and the Endangered Species Act (ESA)


'  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '
to learn about


As Developed
In The Nineteenth Century

~ By C. F. Martin and His Contemporaries ~

visit my companion web site


'  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '  '

Defining the Acoustic Guitar in the 20th Century ~

~ PART 1 ~


Chapter 1.

Martin 1902 00-42S / Style 45 Prototype

In 1902, three custom ordered Style 42 guitars were built with pearl inlay added to the border of the sides and back, as well as having an inlaid "fern"
design added to the peghead.  The first of these had a fancy inlaid pickguard of the style common on the higher end Martin mandolins of the time, and an
intricate vine pattern inlaid on the fretboard. 

The example below was the first to have the more prototypical fingerboard inlays of the type seen in 1904 when this design was introduced as the C. F. Martin Style 45 Guitar.

More on Style 45


Illustrated on p. 2 & 28 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth, "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference"
Subject of full page article by George Gruhn and Walter Carter on page 42 of May, 2008 Vintage Guitar Magazine

"This 1902 guitar features the first version of the Style 45 peghead inlay, which is sometimes referred to as the “fern” pattern. Martin pictured a
Style 45 guitar with this inlay in the 1904 catalog and the same photo appeared as late as the 1909 catalog, but Martin had actually begun using
a simpler pattern, known today as the “torch,” by 1905, and that version lasted until about 1927."

"The initial designation – Style 42 special – understated just how special Style 45 Martins would become. In the pre-World War II years, it was
only surpassed briefly by the OM-45 Deluxe (produced only in 1930), which featured additional inlays in the pickguard and bridge. In today’s
vintage market, Style 45s follow the same pattern as they did in their original listings."

"Although Martin has offered models in recent years with higher model numbers than Style 45, along with many limited-edition, commemorative or artist
models with fancier appointments, Style 45 remains today as it was when this “pre-45” guitar helped to get the Style 45 ball rolling – simply Martin’s top style."

Chapter 2.

Martin 1902 000-21 10 String / Martin Grows in Size to a 000


I look for important transitional guitars for this web site to illustrate the development of the steel string guitar, and this is an essential one. As a harp guitar, or more accurately, a "10 string 000-21" ( Martin only used the term "Harp guitar"
to refer to instruments with 2 complete necks ) this is a curiosity, although a fabulous one.

More importantly, this instrument plays an integral part in illustrating the history of the 000 size Martin.
This guitar was the first 10 string 000-21 designated as a 000, making it the second Martin of any type ever designated as a "000" size Martin.

In January 1901, Martin built an "Extra Large Style 21" with a 15" wide body that was 5'16" deeper than what became a standard 000, followed by an extra large 10 string guitar.    In 1902, Martin built one 9 string 00-21, and shortly after, built a 10 string 000-28 followed by two 10 string 000-21, apparently believing that the 000 size body was necessary to accommodate the wider bridge needed for a 10 string guitar.

The 000 was slow to catch on as a standard size.

In 1903, Martin built a single "standard" 000-21, their first six string 000, and three more were built in 1904.

From 1902 to 1910, Martin built only 23 "000" size guitars. Ten were "harp guitars". In 1907 and 1908, the only 000 built was a 000-45 Harp guitar. 

In total, only 13 standard six string "000" size guitars were built in these first nine years.

Illustrated on p.84 of Washburn & Johnston, "Martin Guitars: An Illustrated Celebration of America's Premier Guitarmaker"

Subject of a full page article by Richard Johnston on page 106 of July, 1997 Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Chapter 3.

Martin 1905 00-42S with Pearl Fingerboard

This singular original example disproves the myth that C.F. Martin, unlike their competitors, never lavishly embellished their fingerboards with pearl.

Entire fingerboard made of genuine white pearl, with intensely designed abalone on frets five, seven, nine, and twelve.

Subject of a full page article by George Gruhn and Walter Carter on page 42 of February, 2009 issue of "Vintage Guitar Magazine".

Chapter 4.

Responding to the "Hawaiian Craze" with Martin's First Production Steel String Guitars

Southern California Music Company Guitars

Martin 1916 Southern California Music "Rolando" Model 1350 Prototype

No serial number


One of six samples made for the California Musical Instrument Company, the first Hawaiian Guitars made by the Martin Company.

To meet the demands of the "Hawaiian Craze", Martin built three models of Hawaiian guitars with koa wood supplied by SoCal.  The first samples were made with spruce tops.  The first batch of production guitars used koa for the tops as well, and introduced specially designated serial numbers taking into account the early samples previously produced.

Martin 1916 Southern California Music "Nunes" Model 1400

Serial number 28

The first production
"Nunes" Model 1400 made for the Southern California Music Company in 1916.

Illustrated on p.113 of Washburn & Johnston, "Martin Guitars: An Illustrated Celebration of America's Premier Guitarmaker"

Illustrated on p. 247 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth, "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference"

Martin 1916 Southern California Music "Rolando" Model 1500

Serial number 181

Chapter 5.

Martin Develops the Dreadnaught

Ditson Ukes

Martin 1916 Ditson Style 3 Ukulele


The Ditson Company operated large stores which ordered many standard Martin models as well as special models designed specifically for Ditson.  The Ditson stamp was applied to both the regular Martin models and the special Dreadnaught guitars.

Martin used the Dreadnaught shape on ukuleles and tipples as well as guitars in three sizes, defined by Model designations with one, two, or three digits, and three levels of trim, designated as 1, 2, and 3.  The Dreadnaught guitars were Hawaiian guitars which interestingly used fan bracing to support their steel strings, as did the Hawaiian guitars built for the Southern California Music Company.

Ditson Hawaiian Guitars

Besides the standard range of Ditson Hawaiian Guitars, Martin produced a small number of the distinctively shaped Ditson Standard Guitars with the appointments of typical Martin Styles 18, 21, 28, 30, 42, and 45.

This is one of 26 Ditson Standard Style 21.

Martin 1917 Ditson DS-21 (1-21)

Martin 1916 Ditson Model 11

With the tremendous demand in production in 1916, Martin sourced Chicago style bridges for the early Ditson guitars.

Martin 1916 Ditson Model 33


Martin 1919 Ditson 3/4 Size Terz Guitar


One of two 3/4 size guitars made for the Ditson Company that were likely the prototype for the "Travel Guitars" of today.

Chapter 6.

Martin Learns from the Teachers

Martin 1916 Foden Special Models C, D and E


William Foden ordered guitars with several levels of trim for his students.

The Style E combines the fretboard extension with no pearl of a Style 40 with the inlays on the backs and sides of a Style 45.  The Style E also used the same "propeller" fingerboard inlay found on the SoCal 1500.

It is said that Foden was the first to request 20 fret necks for his guitars, but I've also noticed several Martins made in 1902 with 20 fret necks.

Martin used single ring rosettes for the Foden guitars similar to those used for Ditson, Wurlitzer, and other private label guitars, but not on the top of the line Style E.

Martin 1922 Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Style 0-44 Soloist


Vahdah Olcott-Bickford requested the finest Style 45 level material in the guitars she ordered for her students, but shunned ostentation, ordering guitars with simple straight line borders and no fingerboard inlays.

Chapter 7.

Pearl Makes the Transition from the "Ladies Parlor" to the Stage

Martin 1918 Ditson 000-42


In 1918 Martin produced the first two 000 size guitars with their top of the line 42 style trim.

From the earliest years, Martin used fancy pearl inlays to adorn "ladies size"parlor guitars.  The idea of adding pearl to a "man's" guitar must have seemed unthinkable at the time.

The 1918 000-42 illustrated here was built for the Ditson Company as
a steel string Hawaiian guitar with fan bracing, the same build as a "Ditson Dreadnaught".  This guitar ends the myth that steel strings were never meant to be used with a pyramid bridge, never mind one made of ivory!

This guitar is an early example of a Martin with a pickguard.  The early guards were inlaid into the top.

Illustrated on p. 41 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference"

Chapter 8.

An Early First Appearance of Western Spruce

Martin 1919 0-45

In 1945 Martin began to have difficulty sourcing suitable Eastern red spruce of suitable size for guitar tops and switched to the huge Western Sitka trees for top wood.

It is little known, however, that in 1919 Martin experimented with the use of what was then referred to as "airplane spruce" for guitar tops.  By the time World War II ended in November, 1918, production of Sitka spruce for aircraft by the Spruce Production Division of the Army had reached 10,000 sq. ft. per month, and left the newly built infrastructure and 1 billion board feet of Spruce.

Illustrated on p. 80 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth, "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference"

Chapter 9.

Martin Ships it's First Production Steel String "Spanish" Guitar

Martin 1922 2-17 With Steel Strings

The first Martin guitars to ship with steel strings were the Hawaiian guitars built for the Ditson and Southern California Music Companies.

In 1922, Martin built the all mahogany model 2-17 with steel strings, the first production steel string Martins for standard "Spanish" style guitar. 

Martin began the process of shipping their standard guitars with steel strings as standard equipment with two Martin Style 2-17 guitars, #16879 and #16887, shipped to the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia on March 27, 1922.

This guitar is #16879.

Chapter 10.

Martin's Experiments Resonate

1930 Wm. L. Lange Paramount Style L Hawaiian Six String and Tenor Resonator Guitars


Martin made approximately 32 resonator guitars in 1930 with the Paramount name for William Lange. 

The Paramount Guitar was offered in three styles, all built with a double rosewood body:

Regular Spanish Guitar, a Hawaiian Steel Guitar, and a Tenor Guitar

These guitars varied greatly, some natural top and some shaded tops, some with pickguards and some without, some with soundholes, but most without.

The Tenor and Hawaiian Styles both had a moveable bridge and fixed tailpiece.  The Spanish Style guitar had a permanent ebony bridge with ivory saddle.

Chapter 11.

Martin Enters the Market for Catalog Guitars

Martin 1030 Montgomery Wards 0-17S

While Gibson and other large makers built many Recording King and other guitars for the lucrative Montgomery Ward Catalog market, Martin built only a few small batches of this distinctive model, the 0-17S, for Montgomery Ward

Chapter 12.

Developing the Contemporary 14 Fret Guitar

The Orchestra Model

Martin 1929 000-28 - 12 fret

Martin considered the 12 fret design to have a superior sound, but understood the practicality of the 14 fret guitar.

Martin 1929 00-28 G.P.

Martin built a small number of transitional guitars, such as this "00-28 G.P.", for "geared pegs", which still had a 12 fret body, but had the solid style headstock and "banjo style tuners" of the OM.  Pickguards and "belly bridges" were not used until 1930, but many Martins built before 1930 sat in the factory unsold, unfinished, "in the white", due to the slow economy of the time
, and were given a tortoise Celluloid pickguard and "belly bridge" before leaving the factory in the following years.

Martin 1929 Carl Fischer Model Tenor Guitar

Credit for the 14 fret Martin design has been given to Perry Bechtel, the buyer for the Cable Music Company in Atlanta who requested the 14 fret OM guitar.  In fact, it was Al Esposito of the Carl Fischer Store in New York City who first requested a 14 fret design for tenor guitars as suggested by two local orchestra leaders to appeal to banjo players.  Mr. Bechtel's contribution consisted primarily of going fishing with Mr. Martin.  When Bechtel showed up to meet Mr. Martin for their fishing trip, he noticed the Fischer Model tenor guitars on the factory floor, and asked if the same could be done with six strings to give greater access higher on the neck.

Martin 1930 OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

To appeal to long neck banjo players, Martin also began to produce a long neck plectrum guitar in the OM Style.

Featured on the Television Show "Pawn Stars"

Martin 1930 OM-28

January, 1930

The first few OM guitars built for Cable Piano in 1929 and early 1930 had a pyramid bridge before the belly bridge, generally associated with the contemporary flat top guitar, was used.  The small teardrop pickguard and banjo style tuners were soon replaced by a larger pickguard and modern guitar tuners.

Martin 1932 O-18 and 1933 0-17 Model 32


With the "Model 32" 0-17 and 0-18, Martin extended the 14 fret body further into the product line.

Chapter 13.

Taking Ornamentation to the Next Level

Martin 1930 OM-45 DeLuxe


Featured in an article by Joe Konkoly

In 1930, Martin built only about a dozen "DeLuxe" style 45 guitars, the highest level production Martin to ever be made, before shortages of the high quality materials forced Martin to cancel all future orders after November 28th.

This example was built in September 25, 1930.

Chapter 14.

Martin Responds to the Call for the Archtop Guitar

Martin Archtop Guitars

Martin 1931 C-1 Prototype for Martin's First Archtop Guitar

Serial number 47368


Martin 1933 R-18

Martin 1932 C-2 12 String Archtop Guitar

Martin's first 12 String archtop guitar.

Serial number 50223


Illustrated on p. 172 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth, "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference"
Illustrated on p. 193 of Carter, "Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments"

Martin 1942 F1 - last archtop

Serial number 82431

Martin 1942 R-18

Serial number 82855

C. F. Martin's interest in archtop guitars was relatively short lived, beginning with the 15" carved top, round hole C-1 above, #47368, and five other examples, the first archtop guitars ever to grace the work tables at Martin, on June 20, 1931. 

By November of 1932, the C-1 was first built with F-holes as it's former position in the lineup was filled by the slightly smaller 14 3/8" pressed top roundhole R-18.

By the end of 1933, the R-18 had also become an "F" hole guitar. 

By mid-1936, the R-18 was also built with a carved top.

The F-1 above, #82431, was the first of the last small batch of archtop guitars ever to be built in Martin's North Street Factory, stamped on September 18 of 1942.  

Before building flat top 12 string guitars in the 1960's, Martin built only six individual 12 string guitars, three flat tops and three arch tops.

The 12 string above, #50223, was the first 12 string arch top ever built by Martin.

Chapter 15.

Responding to the Limits of War


Martin 1939 D-28

Martin 1944 D-18 - with scalloped bracing and red spruce

These examples illustrate the changes necessitated by shortages of materials and personnel during the war years, as well as an effort to build stronger guitars to handle heavier strings.  Due to strictly enforced limits to the amount of metal to be used, the neck reinforcements in war time Martins returned from metal to ebony rods similar to those used decades earlier, necessitating a bulkier but lighter weight neck with a different feel.  The tuners were redesigned to use significantly less metal, and the nut material changed from ivory to ebony, all of which contributed to a change in balance as the "top end" of the guitar became lighter in weight.

Due to a change in finish formulations, many of the guitars produced in 1944 developed a cloudy problematic appearance, necessitating in many examples being oversprayed.

On February 24, 1943, Martin built a batch of 000-42 guitars, the last batch of pearl inlaid Style 40, 42, or 45 Martins.  With the last batch of D-28 in 1945 Martin exhausted their supply of fingerboard inlays and began using dots.  With the first batch of D-28 in 1947, Martin exhauted their supply of Germand made herringbone marquetry, and instituted the use on D-28 of the straight line borders first used on Martin's archtops.

Tapered Braces

Martin 1945 D-18

Martin 1946 000-18


When old guitars became "vintage guitars", players looked more carefully and noticed the "scalloped" top braces of pre-war Martins, shaved to form peaks and valleys, as opposed to the earlier "straight braces".   More recently, folks have noticed that "War Year" Martins have transitional "tapered" braces.

Looking more closely,  I've discovered that guitars built in 1945 are distinctively different from those of other war years, with their braces considerably more tapered, creating a signature loud and "punchy" sound.  The photos above illustrate the slender braces of 1945 in constrast to the heavier, rounder braces of 1946.  I would not be surprised if the more highly tapered braces have even less mass than the scalloped braces of preceding years.

Chapter 16.

Martin's First Electric Guitars
#180644 and F-65 #179835 Electrics


While Martin produced flat top guitars with DeArmond pickups in the 1950's, in September of 1961 Martin made their first freshly designed "thin body" electric guitars, starting with three prototypical examples of each of three variations, of which this top of the line, two pickup, double cutaway F-65
#179835 is one.  In November of 1961, Martin produced the first production run of 12 of each style, of which this single cutaway, single pickup F-50 #180644 is one, before larger production of batches of 24 each began in 1962.

~ PART 2 ~


Chapter 17.

Border Patrol

Chapter 18.

 The Head of the Class

Chapter 19.

Tuner Sandwich

Chapter 20.

A Stamp of Approval

Chapter 21.

 Pearl Jam

Chapter 22.

Arrowheads and Other Hidden Treasures

Chapter 23.

 The End Is Near

Chapter 24.

The Spanish Foot

Chapter 25.

 On Guard!

Chapter 26.

 Speaking Volutes

Chapter 27.

 Feel Like a Heel

Chapter 28.

 A Bridge to Somewhere

Chapter 29.

All Tied Up

Chapter 30.

 Back in the Saddle

Chapter 31.

Hear a Pin Drop

Chapter 32.


Chapter 33.

Something to Fret About

Chapter 34.

Strung Out


Chapter 35.

 Photo Finish

Chapter 36.

Knock on Wood


Chapter 37.

 Does Size Matter?

Chapter 38.

 The Shape of Things to Come

Chapter 39.

 We've Got Your Number


Chapter 40.

  X Marks the Spot

Chapter 41.

Your Biggest Fan

Chapter 42.

Safe at Home Plate

Chapter 43.

 Case Closed


Chapter 44.

A Final Nail in the Coffin



Chapter 45.

 Tune Up

Chapter 46.

 Hawaiian Punch

Chapter 47.

 The Tenor of the Times

Chapter 48.

 The Orchestra Model


Chapter 49.

 The Dreadnaught


Chapter 50.

 Double Your Fun

Chapter 51.

 Classical Gas


Before the Styles Were Defined

Chapter 52.

   Martin Stauffer Guitar

Chapter 53.

 Early C.F. Martin Built Hudson Street Viennese Style Guitar

Chapter 54.

Martin Renaissance Style Guitar

Chapter 55.

 Martin & Coupa Spanish Style Guitar

Chapter 56.

 Martin & Coupa Tigerwood Guitar

Chapter 57.

Early Transitional Viennese/Spanish Style Martin & Coupa Guitar


Chapter 58.

 Martin Spanish Style Guitar

Chapter 59.

 Martin 1840's Alternate X Brace Spanish Style Guitar

Chapter 60.

 Martin Ivory Fingerboard Stauffer Style Guitar

Chapter 61.

 Early Hybrid X Braced Spanish Martin Guitar

Chapter 62.

 Martin & Coupa Alternate X Braced Guitar

Chapter 63.

 Martin X Braced Spanish Guitar

Chapter 64.

 Martin Ebonized Neck Spanish Guitar

Chapter 65.

 Martin Mahogany Size 3 Guitar

Chapter 66.

 Martin Pearl Rosette and Pendant Guitar


As They've Been Defined Since the 1850's

Chapter 67.

 Styles 15, 17 & 18

Chapter 68.

 Styles 20, 21 & 22

Chapter 69.

 Styles 23 & 24

Chapter 70.

 Styles 26 & 28

Chapter 71.

 Styles 27, 30 & 34

Chapter 72.

Style 35

Chapter 7

 Styles 40 & 42

Chapter 74.

 Style 45

Chapter 75.

 Style 45 DeLuxe


Chapter 76.

 Martin Archtop Guitars

Chapter 77.

 Martin Mandolins


Chapter 78.

 Martin Tenor Banjo

Chapter 79.

  7 String Hawaiians


Chapter 80.

Bacon Banjo Company 0-21

Chapter 81

Buegeleisen & Jacobson S.S. Stewart 2-17 Special

Chapter 82.

 Oliver Ditson Company Style 2-17, Style 1-21, Style 2, Style 11, Style 22, Style 33, Style 111, and 3/4 Size

Chapter 83.

 Carl Fischer Model Special Tenor

Chapter 84.

 William Foden "Foden Special" Models C, D, and E

Chapter 85.

C.H. Gaskin's Harp Mandolin


Chapter 86.

 Grinnell Brothers "Wolverine" 2-17 and 0-18

Chapter 87.

 Wm. L. Lange Paramount Style L Six String and Tenor Resonator Guitars

Chapter 88.

 Montgomery Wards 0-17S

Chapter 89.

 Vadah Olcott-Bickford Style 0-44 Soloist

Chapter 90.

Perlburg & Halpin "Beltone" 2-17

Chapter 91.

Southern California Music Company 1350 and 1500 Samples, "Nunes" Styles 1350 & 1400 and "Rolando" Style 1500


Chapter 92.

 Rudolph Wurlitzer Styles 2087, 2088, and 2092

Chapter 93.

 Bitting Special Mandolin

Chapter 94.

 Briggs Special Mandolin

Chapter 95.

 Ditson Style A Mandolin

Chapter 96.

 Ditson Standard Style 1 and Dreadnaught Styles 1, 2, and 3 Ukuleles

Chapter 97.

  P. H. Louis Brachet Martin Zither


Chapter 98.

 James Ashborn Styles 1, 2, and 6 for William Hall & Son and Firth, Pond & Co.

Chapter 99.

Joseph Bohmann Early Presentation and Harp Guitars, and Guitar and Mandolin with Interior Drone Strings

Chapter 100.

 Orville Gibson Guitars and Mandolins


Chapter 101.

The Gibson Company

Chapter 102.

The Larson Brothers and Dyer Harp Guitars


Chapter 103.

Louis Panormo

Chapter 104.

Jose Recio, Cadiz

Chapter 105.

Rickenbacher, Gibson and Other Early Electrics


Schmidt & Maul Guitars with fan and Experimental X Bracing


Albert Shutt Style D#2 Mandolin


Johann Stauffer

Chapter 109.

 Tilton Improvement


If you would like to buy a nice Martin or Gibson Guitar...

I love these, but I really need to make some room for new ones.

Acoustic Instruments for Sale

Electric Instruments for Sale

I am not in the business of buying and selling guitars, but am interested in purchasing specific unique instruments to round out my collection to present you with a web site with as complete a picture as possible to help you learn.  I am interested in substantially original examples made from the 1800's to 1960's by Stauffer, Panormo, Schmidt & Maul, C. F. Martin, Martin & Coupa, Martin & Schatz, Martin & Bruno, Martin & Zoebisch, John Coupa, Oliver Ditson, Southern California Music, John Wanamaker, Wm. J. Smith, Wurlitzer, S.S. Stewart, Orville Gibson, the Gibson Company, and the Larson brothers.  I am not hunting for bargains, but seeking quality intstruments at a price that is fair to the buyer and seller alike.

To see Robert's new web site illustrating the development of the Early Martin Guitar, from 1833 to 1898, visit:


To see Robert's new web site illustrating the development of the Early Gibson Guitar, visit:


To see Robert's new web site illustrating the development of the post-Orville Gibson Guitar, visit:


To See Robert Corwin's Classic Photography of Folk and Roots Musicians, visit:


For Information on Photography for
Exhibition, Publication, CD's, Promotion, Web Pages, Tour Books,
to Purchase Photographic Prints, or

To Contact Robert With Questions About An Early Martin Guitar:
e-mail: Robert Corwin
I'm more than happy to answer questions to the best of my limited ability about features of the
instruments I've photographed and studied
from luthiers restoring vintage Martins or building new instruments.

The Early Martin and Vintage Martin web pages were first created in September, 2009.  

Updated 1/29/16

Entire site copyright ©1998 through 2016 Robert Corwin/Photo-Arts. All rights reserved.

Photographs and written material on this site may not be reproduced without permission.