“Epiphone will always be Gibson’s older brother, and its history is perhaps the most interesting of any guitar brand”: Celebrating 150 years of Epiphone – from luxury archtop maker to budget builder and rock icon

Epiphone at 150
(Image credit: Future)

You’ll know Epiphone today as Gibson’s alter ego, with its line of well-priced alternatives to the senior brand, as well as reincarnations of some of its own historic models such as the Casino, Texan and Coronet. Epiphone’s roots, though, go back further than you might think – all the way to Turkey in the 1890s, in fact, when Anastasios Stathopoulos began making lutes, violins and other instruments. 

Anastasios emigrated with his family to the United States in 1903, in the process losing the final ‘s’ of their surname, and he set up in business in New York City, successfully making mandolins, which were in vogue at the time, and also banjos, much favoured by early jazz players in the city and beyond. 

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