Forgotten Guitar: An Inside Look at the Fender Factory in 1959
Have a look at the video clip below for some fantastic rare footage of the Fender guitar factory in the late Fifties.
The clip was shot inside Fender’s original Fullerton, California, home in 1959, according to the uploader, a film-restoration company called CinePost. It’s a unique look into the early days of the iconic American guitar maker, and it even features shots of Leo Fender, Freddie Taveres and Abigail Yabarra (who still wound pickups for the Fender Custom Shop until 2013; you can read more about her here).
Although Fender had around 100 employees at this point, and their guitars were in the hands of many of world’s most famous players, it was still a relatively small company when compared to the massive corporation it is today.
The 8mm film also highlights the majority of work being carried out by hand and, at times, with some questionable health and safety measures.
Some say, “They don’t make them like this anymore.” In Fender’s defense, they probably wouldn’t even be allowed to.
Jonathan Graham is an ACM UK graduate based in London studying under the likes of Guthrie Govan and Pete Friesen. He is the creator of ForgottenGuitar.com, a classic-guitar media website, and is completing his debut album, Protagonist. Updates also can be found at Graham’s YouTube channel.