June 27, 2006
Gibson, Inc., General Assembly Room, 1936. “One section of the general assembling room.” Photographed by Mamie L. Austin.
Visit the Gibson, Inc. Photo Gallery at the Kalamazoo Public Library for many more photos and a brief history of Gibson in Kalamazoo (includes suggested reading!).
In 1898, Orville Gibson was awarded the patent for an “Improved Mandolin,” using principles that could be applied also to “guitars, mandolas, and lutes.” The invention was that of a back, neck, and ribs structure carved from one piece of wood, with an arched soundboard and slightly hollowed neck … This archtop guitar design, influenced by violin construction, marked the beginning of a significant development in American guitar making.
Read more and see some photos at Guitar by Orville Gibson at the National Music Museum. Also check out History of Gibson from Gibson, Inc. and this page from FlyingVintage.com with information and pics of the Kalamazoo factory.
The Gibson section is just one of over 100 short stories and tours of historic photographs and information about the people, places, events and businesses of Kalamazoo in the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Clarence L. Miller Family Local History Room.