C F Martin & Co Factory tour
May 13, 2003


Ever since I was a kid I've always had a fascination with Martin guitars. When I was 10 years old I remember seeing Lonnie Donegan in pantomime (Cinderella, and he played Buttons) at the Grand Theatre in Leeds and was thrilled to see he played a OOO-28. In later years, whenever I was in London, I'd always make a point of visiting Ivor Mairants Music Centre and a few other stores in the west end.

Visiting the Martin factory was a long-standing ambition of mine, so I was delighted when in May 2003 I finally got the opportunity. I met Bob McNally and Scooter at a festival in New Jersey, and they both had connections to the company - indeed it was Bob who invented the Backpacker guitar.

Anyway, we all met up one morning in May and headed for Nazareth. I took the camera...

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Guitar #5000000 - a standard
HD-28 signed by the entire workforce


A few tiples etc in the museum #750000 - outrageously inlaid Peacock model
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A couple of beauties in the
museum, including an original 000-45. Gulp.


Here they are again Bob McNally with his invention, the Martin Backpacker
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CN chatting to Dick Boak in the museum


An elevated view of the factory floor Lots and lots of guitar bodies...
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...yet more...


...and more... ...and a few necks too
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Dreadnaught anyone?


Even more clothes pegs than instruments Polishing a headstock
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I like OM-42s (I have two) but there were dozens there that day.

I can highly recommend the tour if you have the slightest interest in acoustic guitars and find yourself within spitting distance of Nazareth, PA. I hadn't realised just how close to New York City it is - only about 90 minutes by car.

Many thanks to Scooter, Bob and Dick for a most interesting and enjoyable day out. I'll be doing it again soon...

Chris information
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Old Bridge Music
PO Box 7, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9RY, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1943 602203   Fax: +44 (0)1943 435472