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Fender Guitars was concieved in the 1940s when young Californian inventor Leo Fender discovered that he could improve the amplification of the hollow body guitars of the time using just a simple solid body electric design. After a small amount of time working on the invention he realised that he could easily reduce the time spent building them. 

In 1951, Fender introduced a solid body guitar prototype. This would go on to become one of the most lucrative and highly sold guitars ever produced. It was named the Fender Telecaster®. This was the first ever Spanish-style solid body electric guitar to have been put on the market.

Fender was also the genius behind the "Precision Bass Guitar". This was a fretted and amplified bass guitar which trumped by far the large, clumsy and unfretted acoustic basses on sale at the time. Also released in 1951, this would in turn revolutionise the "band" scene in which louder music could be played and the bass still heard. Cue rock and roll.

The Stratocaster and ascent to world domination

The Stratocaster was first seen in 1954 and was conceived from the feedback of a multitude of professional musicians, making it a guitar designed by musicians for musicians. It featured for the first time ever a tremolo effect made available by the unique bridge design, which was intended to create a sound similar to the pedal-steel effect very popular at the time on the country scene.  

The Stratocaster has gone on to be the most sold, played and influential guitar of all time despite very few modifications to its original design from the 1950s. Evidently a case of "if it's not broken, don't fix it."

Fender continued to be a constructive force and by 1965 had been a key part in designing, building and retailing many innovative products including the Jazz Bass®, the Jaguar® and Jazzmaster® and the Twin Reverb® amplifier.

Fender Guitars - The decline and rising back from the ashes

Due to ill health Leo Fender had to sell the company in 1965. He sold to CBS who sadly were not particularly qualified or audacious with their marketing or the innovation of the company. The quality and success of Fender guitars steadily diminished.

A group of employees and investors led by William Schultz bought Fender from CBS in 1985. This allowed Fender to be managed once again by a small group of talented and focused individuals who understood the market desires and needs far better than when it was owned by a large company. They were tasked with reviving the reputation of the world's former leading guitar brand.  The new Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) had to start again from nothing. No buildings or machinery had been included in the change of hands. 

Fender Guitars - Rebuilding the Brand

Due to quality control Fender's main factory was moved from offshore to Corona, California which has now become the company's main manafacturing plant. In 1987, the Fender Custom Shop was opened allowing professional musicians to make specific requests with regards to the set-up or styling of their guitars. Thie Fender Custom Shop is now a world famous hub and held with the highest respect of musicians from all over the globe. 

Best selling guitars are still to this day the Telecaster and Stratocaster models although many others are available! Artists such as Eric Clapton, The Beach Boys and Kurt Cobain, among many more, have famously used Fender guitars during their performances.