GUITAR OF THE MONTH
Epiphone was founded in 1873 by Anastasios
Stathopoulos, who initially built only fiddles and
lutes in the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). In the
early 20th century, Stathopoulos and Epiphone
made the move to Queens, New York, and expanded into building mandolins and banjos. Finally,
in 1928 Epiphone built its first line of guitars,
the Recording series. And in 1935, the company
branched into the electrified world with the Electar
Series (originally the Electraphone).
The Century model was introduced in 1939, and
the 1953 model pictured here features a maple
body with a sunburst finish, a rosewood fretboard
and headstock, a New York neck pickup without
adjustable poles, a Bakelite pickguard, a trapeze
tailpiece and octagonal volume and tone controls
with peaked facets.
It was rumored that the Century was used by Django
Reinhardt during his only US tour in 1946 with Duke
Ellington, but he actually used the bigger Epiphone
Zephyr (also introduced in 1939) while in the States.
A special thanks to PG contributor Jeffrey O’Connor
for this exquisite photograph.
PREMIER GUITAR APRIL 2010 181