Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gibson is also the surname of two authors:
- William Gibson, the playwright, author of The Miracle Worker
- William Gibson, the science fiction, cyberpunk novelist, author of Neuromancer
Gibson Guitar Corporation is one of the world's best-known manufacturers of acoustic and electric guitars.
Orville Gibson started making mandolins in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan USA. In 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd. was founded to market his instruments. Within a short period after the foundation of the company, the Board passed a motion that "O. H. Gibson be paid only for the actual time he works for the Company". After that time, There is no clear indication whether he worked there full-time, or as consultant.
Starting in 1908, Orville was paid an annual fee of $500 by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Limited. He had a number of stays in hospitals between 1907 and 1911. In 1916, he was again hospitalized, and passed away on August 21, 1918.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Gibson company was responsible for many innovations in guitar design, and became the leading manufacturer of arch-top guitars, paticularly the Gibson L5 model. In 1936 they introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150, generally recognized as the first commercially successful electric guitar.
In 1952, Gibson launched a solid-bodied guitar designed in collaboration with the popular guitarist Les Paul. The late 1950s saw a number of innovative new designs including the eccentrically-shaped Gibson Explorer and Flying V and the semi-acoustic ES-335, and the introduction of the "humbucker" pickup. The Les Paul was discontinued in favour of the Gibson SG in 1961, but returned in the late 1960s after it was taken up by players such as Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Both the Les Paul and the SG later became very popular with heavy metal guitarists.
Gibson is well-known for making top quality guitars, but at a quite hefty price. Therefore, their subsidiary company, Epiphone, manufactures less expensive variations of their best-selling guitars, but with lower-quality material and craftsmanship. Other instrument manufacturers which are owned by Gibson include Kramer and Steinberger guitars, as well as Tobias which specializes in bass guitars, Baldwin which makes pianos, Oberheim which makes effects processors and MIDI gear, and Slingerland drums. The Gibson company also makes Gibson-branded amplifiers. Another related company is the Heritage Guitars company -- an independent guitar company founded by former Gibson employees during Gibson's move to Nashville.
Gibson also operates a factory in Memphis where its Custom Shop guitars are manufactured and sold.
- Gibson ES-150
- Gibson ES-335
- Gibson Explorer
- Gibson Flying V, also Flying V
- Gibson L5
- Gibson Les Paul
- Gibson SG
- Fender Musical Instruments
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