Jump to content

Rare footage of the Fender guitar factory, 1959.


Recommended Posts

This is very interesting on many levels. 


Take a trip back to the 1950s in this restored film footage of a tour of the Fender factory.
The good people at CinePost offer up a nice piece of Americana with this digitally restored 8mm film shot in 1959 by Forrest White. In it, we catch a glimpse of life at the Fender Guitar factory in Fullerton, CA.
The father of the electric guitar himself, Leo Fender, makes an appearance in the second shot. You get a nice tour of the factory and see workers hand-cutting guitar bodies and shaping necks. Of course, there was no automation back then - like with today's CNC routers used to cut out the guitar shapes with exacting precision. No, back then each guitar was truly one-of-a-kind.
Rather curiously, Leo Fender didn't know how to play guitar himself. "I never had time to do anything but build guitars and listen to 'em," he once told Rolling Stone. "If I could play 'em as good as some people, I'd do it for hours a day."
Take a moment as you watch the footage to reflect on the rich heritage Fender has and the many artists that have been touched by the guitars they created. From Jimi Hendrix coaxing his signature blend of otherworldy blues out of his Stratocaster to the transformative sound of bassist Jaco Pastorius grooving on his fretless Jazz Bass, we all can be grateful for the innovations of Leo Fender.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Kevin, this is a cool video. I posted it here some years ago but it needs to be kept alive IMO. Thanks.

When you get a chance there is a small permanent  Fender  Exhibition at the Fullerton Museum downtown where the Farmers Market is on Wilshire and Pomona. Worth checking out. TThis is a good book that an old high school friend wrote






The Sound Heard 'Round the World  by Richard Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this video--particularly the guy dancing around the bandsaw cutting out Strat bodies freehand, and the other guy doing the trademark Strat body "custom contours" freehand, just by holding the body up to a big belt sander.

Great skills, (and NO safety gear at all).  Leo thought he was "mass-producing" his instruments (as opposed to how Gibson/Guild/Martin/Gretsch worked back then), but those instruments are all subtley different from each other--this video shows you why.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...