America's Guitar... in Nazareth, Pennsylvania


A highlight of our trip last month was a "pilgrimage" to the C.F. Martin & Co. guitar museum and factory in the charming, sleepy little town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. TJ, as some of you know, is a music man, and Martin acoustic guitars are his favorite. So going to the "home" of America's guitar, as Martin styles itself, was very much a kind of pilgrimage for TJ! Part of the facility is a replica of the original 1833 factory... it's beautiful. Martin Guitar in Nazareth offers free guided factory tours to see the guitars being made--and we went to see!


Before the factory tour we had a little time to walk through the Martin museum which chronicles the history of the Martin guitar, from Christian Frederick Martin's--the company's founder--beginning in Germany, his apprenticeship as a luthier (stringed instrument maker/repairer) in Vienna, Austria, to his emigration to America, guitar innovations through the years, to the present days...and the company is still family owned. 



Martin guitars are favored by many well known musicians the world over... Crosby, Stills & Nash, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and many, many more... 


For anyone interested in stringed instruments, and guitars in particular, the Martin Guitar factory tour is an amazing experience!









While factories usually conjure up images of lots of machines and mechanization, and there is certainly some of that, and lots of tools that help along with the making of a guitar, at Martin there are a lot of people doing very hands-on work and details to creating from pieces of wood some of the best guitars in the world. It's actually pretty humbling to see the process, and human hands making these beautiful instruments. I had a tear in my eye often as we went through the tour... (Photography was allowed during the tour, and these are just a few of the many, many photos we took, but I don't include those of people at work, as that just didn't feel right to do somehow for their privacy, etc.) 



There is, of course, a gift and gear shop at the Martin complex...everything from clothing, coffee mugs, fridge magnets with the Martin logo, to guitar strings, books and much more besides. We came away with HIS and HERS Martin t-shirts. :) 


Your can "test drive" many guitar models at Martin. And this has to be one of my favorite photos from our trip... TJ playing one of the guitars at the "pickin' parlor." 

We had a great time on our trip... and look forward to our times Stateside. 

In case you missed my other posts from our trip, you can see them here and here. Thanks for being along with us to re-share some memories! :)


Comments

  1. Oh, I love that you could go to the C.F. Martin & Co. and tour it for your dear husband to enjoy moments there. I can see that you both totally had a great time there. I do love guitars. Right now my grandson has taught himself to play and he is very good.
    I love guitar music. I especially loved the sweet picture you took of TJ playing the guitar.
    I can imagine that this was a very interesting tour and you learned a lot about guitars.
    I enjoyed all the photos.
    Sending blessings and hugs!

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    1. It was a great and educational tour... we just loved every moment. And it made me so happy to see TJ so happy! :)

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  2. Those towns out there have the most amazing names dont they! The factory and tour must have been amazing especially for a music loving man like TJ. Was he tempted to buy a guitar there?

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    1. TJ has two Martin guitars already here at home that he plays a lot... but there's always the temptation for another one... ;)

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  3. This would be fascinating. Rick would just love this! Yet another reason for us to venture to PA. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful photos -- they really tell the story.

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    1. Oh, yes... even more reason for you & Rick to visit and love PA... Rick would just love the Martine Guitar factory, and I think you would too!

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  4. I sent this post to my 17 year old great nephew Blake. he plays the acoustic guitar.
    he was very interested in it and sent me a great reply.
    if you remember me writing about Jacob... Blake is Jacob's big brother.
    and their dad... Sgt Mike is on his way home from ... we don't know where!
    in special operations they never tell what their mission is or where they are.
    all I know is... he's SAFE again and back home! I can't quit smiling! xoxo♥

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    1. Tammy, I'm sooo happy for you all that Sgt Mike is home now--HOORAY!! God is sooo GOOD! :))) And such fun your young nephwe plays guitar... Maybe he'll get to the Martin factory sometime!

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  5. that's so neat Tracy! TJ does look really happy in that picture! what a neat place to visit, so meaningful and wonderful that they are still family owned! Yay for that too!!! :) <3

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    1. The history of the Martin company is so rich... it was interesting to tour both the museum and the factory to get a sense of it all... and so amazing after all these years how strong the company keeps growing.

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  6. That looks like a fun and educational tour. I love seeing how things are made and to know that the human touch is involved all the way through is probably the reason they are well-made. TJ looks so happy at the guitar picked' spot! And what fun to have matching t-shirts to remember that adventure.

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    1. Hi, Juana... great to see you here! Must say, we do look might cute in our matchin t-shirts! ;) LOL...

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  7. What a wonderful place to visit Tracy, and that photograph of TJ pickin' on that guitar brought a huge smile to my face! He looks so happy and right in his element. You two together make me feel so happy. I love you both. I really hope that we have another opportunity to spend some time together one day! That would be like a dream come true! Love you so much! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Marie! You know, I have a good feeling we'll see you both again... dream come true it will be! :))) OXOX

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  8. How fascinating! Eventhough I am not a guitar person I would have loved this. I love factory visits and seeing how things are made. TJ does look happy with that guitar.

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