An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 12, 2011

Martin Guitars

And now for something completely different...
Martin Guitar

Martin Guitar (8)

Martin Guitar (11)

Martin Guitar (6)

Martin Guitar (10)

Martin Guitar (12)

Martin Guitar (14)

Martin Guitar (22)

Martin Guitar (16)

Martin Guitar (20)

Martin Guitar (3)

Martin Guitar (27)

Martin Guitar (24)

Martin Guitar (4)

Martin Guitar (18)

Martin Guitar (9)

Martin Guitar (7)

Martin Guitar (17)

Martin Guitar (13)

Martin Guitar (19)



Though I was not sure how much I would like it, we went on the factory tour of the Martin Guitar Co. in Nazareth, Pennsylvania while we were on vacation.  Tours are free and you are right there with all the skilled workers on the floor as they make some of the finest guitars in the world.  Each guitar is assembled by hand and is a unique construction.  The pride they take in what they do is obvious, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the tour.  Perhaps these stunning pictures and this glowing review will entice some executive to send my a guitar.

(If you ever decide to go to Nazareth to take the tour, make sure you drive around the town some.  It's attractive without being touristy cute, real people live and work there.  I did not see one home whose lawn and garden were not perfectly groomed and manicured - it was almost frightening to this more free-form gardener.)


  1. Beautiful photos as always! I wish you would post some pics of those manicured yards. The garden in front of the Martin building is lovely.

    You're missing a lot of smoke at home -- what a disaster this latest Dismal Swamp fire is! We live 25 miles south of Richmond and the air has been heavy with the odor and intense haze, almost fog, all day -- I can only imagine what it's like in Tidewater.

    I don't think you can go wrong on a factory tour of any kind -- every one I've been on from childhood on has been fascinating. And yours looked like a great one, since they are showing visitors so much of the guitar building process up close.

  2. Fabulous, you really captured the sense of craftsmen and women at work. Love all those clothes pegs holding the body in shape. Looks like a great place to visit.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful photos! My husband is a musician and has a Martin that he plays almost daily. We visited Martin guitars about 20 years ago, and you captured the craftsmanship so well.

  4. That is some serious artwork. Nothing like hand made. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wonderful to see an iconic American brand still in business. Hey, if they're good enough for Neil Young...

  6. I've always appreciated craftsmanship. This is a place I've got to see some day.

  7. This was great!!! I always love seeing how things are made.

    Years ago, while driving home from a trip to New England, we stopped for lunch in York, PA. We saw a sign for tours of the Harley Davidson assembly plant ... similar story ... spur of the moment tour, not sure what we'd find, ended up totally enthralled as we toured through the assembly floor itself, left a total HD fan.

  8. How cool! This summer we bought our daughter her first guitar after a year of lessons. We were impressed by how different the sound and fit was to her. I'm sure she'd love to see how they were made. I'll show her this post when she and her guitar come back from camp. Thanks for the tour.

    Happy GBBD too!

  9. Having a couple musicians in the family gives me an appreciation in the craftmenship of the making of such fine instruments. Thanks for documenting the tour so nicely. Would love to see it in person.

  10. Perhaps these stunning pictures and this glowing review will entice some one to learn to play the guitar, and make beautiful music!
    Good job Les.

  11. bfish,
    I wish we did miss the smoke. The fire started a few days after we got home.

    It was indeed.

    I really did not what to expect when we went in, but I immediately saw all the detail work being done by human hands and the camera came out.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving kind comments.

    Yes, nothing like handmade.

    The tour guide was the retired factory manager, and he said they have riding the recession pretty well.

    Yes it was a great tour and the fact they don't charge is a plus.

    I'll bet the HD plant was indeed fascinating. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford a guitar, let alone a hawg.

    I hope your daughter enjoys the post. Our son plays, and according to his teacher he is quite good. He just doesn't like to practice.

    You are quite welcome for the arm chair tour.

    We were hoping it would leave a lasting impression on our reluctant-to-practice son.