Skip to main content

Discover the History of the American Guitar, 1833 to the Present

First published in 2001 and now updated and expanded, Tony Bacon's History of the American Guitar (Backbeat Books) begins in New York City in the 1830s with the arrival of Christian Martin, from Germany, to set up the Martin company.

From that historic moment, the book takes readers on a fascinating and comprehensive visual tour of U.S. guitar history.

More than 75 brand names are represented, with more than 300 guitars photographed in stunning detail, including Bigsby, Danelectro, D'Angelico, D'Aquisto, Ditson, Dobro, Dyer, Epiphone, Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, James Trussart, Kay, Maccaferri, Martin, Micro-Frets, Mosrite, Oahu, Ovation, Regal, Rickenbacker, Stella, Stromberg, Suhr, Taylor, Vega, Washburn, Wilkanowski and many more.

The interrelated stories of the guitar, mandolin, and banjo are mixed seamlessly with the history of the diverse American music that grew and prospered with these instruments, from country to blues, from jazz to rock. The bulk of the instruments illustrated were part of the celebrated collection of Scott Chinery, photographed before Chinery's untimely death and the subsequent break-up of his unique collection.

The book presents every important episode in the story of the American luthier's art and is an unparalleled resource for every musician, collector, and music fan.

It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $27.99.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Guitar World Staff
Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.