You are here
Tour the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, PA
Almost two centuries ago, Christian “C.F.” Martin left Germany for the freedom of New York City, leaving behind the economic restrictions of the European guild system to start America’s oldest guitar manufacturing company. Within a few years, the German immigrant relocated his burgeoning young business to Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Besides crafting the world’s finest instruments, C.F. Martin was the first to apply the large-scale use of X-bracing and steel guitar strings (he couldn’t have picked a better state to be in for that). C.F. Martin began to build a reputation and his business grew rapidly. The company was saved through the Great Depression by the invention of the Dreadnought design. Named after a Royal Navy battleship, the guitar was larger and deeper and its sound had greater volume and louder bass, making it more useful as an instrument for singers. By the 1960s, C.F. Martin was backordered on making guitars for three years. In 2004, the company built their millionth guitar. The guitar was built entirely by hand and features over 40 inlaid rubies and diamonds, worth an estimated and appropriate $1,000,000. At some auctions Martin guitars reach a six-figure price.
You can discover the rich history and unparalleled heritage of the famous powerhouse guitar-makers at its headquarters and main factory in Nazareth, PA. Take a public guided tour of the factory for free between 11AM and 2:30 PM Monday through Friday to learn how Martin guitars come to life through the 300-step guitar-making process. Follow its story from rough lumber to a finished product. Tours last about one hour. You can also reserve a behind-the-scenes tour Monday through Friday at 9:30AM for $25.00 per person. The two hour tour will take you on a journey through the factory not offered in the free public tour and provides different information. Call 610.759.2837 to reserve your behind-the-scenes tour. Guided tours check in at the visitor center, which also houses the Martin Guitar Museum, 1833 Shop, and a gallery wall of Martin owners. The Museum collects and reflects on music history, culture, and craftsmanship of our most beloved instruments. Displays showcase more than 170 beautiful guitars that span the history of this 200-year-old company. Find Martin souvenirs, apparel, and collectibles at the 1833 Shop.
Visit the Martin website for more information about the company’s fascinating and successful history, get directions, and view photos of some of the world’s most historical and loved instruments.
C.F. Martin Factory, Museum, and Visitors Center
510 Sycamore St.
Nazareth, PA 18064