History of Guild

1945

Alfred Dronge opens a music store called Sagman & Dronge with partner Barney Sagman, located on 130 Park Rowe in New York City. A couple years later, Alfred buys out his partner and changes the business' name to Alfred Dronge Music.

Alfred Dronge opens a music store called Sagman & Dronge with partner Barney Sagman, located on 130 Park Rowe in New York City. A couple years later, Alfred buys out his partner and changes the business' name to Alfred Dronge Music.

1952

Alfred Dronge registers Guild Guitar Company after partnering with George Mann, ex-Vice President of Epiphone Company.

Alfred Dronge registers Guild Guitar Company after partnering with George Mann, ex-Vice President of Epiphone Company.

April 1953

The first Guild Guitars are produced at 536 Pearl Street in New York City. Due to Al Dronge's passion for jazz music, Guild concentrates solely on the production of full-depth hollow body electric guitars for their first year.

The first Guild Guitars are produced at 536 Pearl Street in New York City. Due to Al Dronge's passion for jazz music, Guild concentrates solely on the production of full-depth hollow body electric guitars for their first year.

1954/55

Guild makes their first flattops, followed by acoustic archtops. Models such as the X-175 Manhattan, M-75 Aristocrat, F-30, F-40, and F-50 are introduced.

Guild makes their first flattops, followed by acoustic archtops. Models such as the X-175 Manhattan, M-75 Aristocrat, F-30, F-40, and F-50 are introduced.

1956

Production moves from New York City to Hoboken, NJ. It was during this time period that Guild hires most of the people who are responsible for the tremendous growth of the company during the 1960s, such as Bob Bromberg (general/plant manager), Gilbert Diaz (final assembly), and Carlo Greco (luthier).

Production moves from New York City to Hoboken, NJ. It was during this time period that Guild hires most of the people who are responsible for the tremendous growth of the company during the 1960s, such as Bob Bromberg (general/plant manager), Gilbert Diaz (final assembly), and Carlo Greco (luthier).

1956-1959

Due to Dronge's ties with the New York jazz scene, Guild's list of endorsees include Johnny Smith, Don Arnone, Carl Kress, and Barry Galbraith, among others. Guild's first collaboration with an artist (Johnny Smith) results in the Johnny Smith Award model, which was made from 1956-1960.

Due to Dronge's ties with the New York jazz scene, Guild's list of endorsees include Johnny Smith, Don Arnone, Carl Kress, and Barry Galbraith, among others. Guild's first collaboration with an artist (Johnny Smith) results in the Johnny Smith Award model, which was made from 1956-1960.

The 1960s

The Starfire models, the Thunderbird, S-100 Polara, and Guild’s first 12-string and bass guitars are born. This is the decade in which Buddy Guy becomes synonymous with the Starfire IV, Muddy Waters champions the Thunderbird, and Bonnie Raitt picks up her first Navarre F-50.

The Starfire models, the Thunderbird, S-100 Polara, and Guild’s first 12-string and bass guitars are born. This is the decade in which Buddy Guy becomes synonymous with the Starfire IV, Muddy Waters champions the Thunderbird, and Bonnie Raitt picks up her first Navarre F-50.

1966

The company is sold to the Avnet Corporation, and production moves from Hoboken to Westerly, RI. The first guitar to come out of this factory is an M-20 in 1967.

The company is sold to the Avnet Corporation, and production moves from Hoboken to Westerly, RI. The first guitar to come out of this factory is an M-20 in 1967.

1969

Richie Havens wows the world when he opens the Woodstock Festival with his Guild D-40. The D-40 and D-50 go on to become mainstays in the Guild line.

Richie Havens wows the world when he opens the Woodstock Festival with his Guild D-40. The D-40 and D-50 go on to become mainstays in the Guild line.

The 1970s

Guild overhauls their entire range of solid-body electrics, including the basses. These models include the M-85 bass, JS Bass I & II, S-100, S-300, and new solid-body versions of the recently re-issued M-75 Bluesbird, called the M-75GS and M-75CS. Guild also designs and produces the first dreadnought guitar featuring a cutaway, and makes the first dreadnought-shaped 12-string guitars.

Guild overhauls their entire range of solid-body electrics, including the basses. These models include the M-85 bass, JS Bass I & II, S-100, S-300, and new solid-body versions of the recently re-issued M-75 Bluesbird, called the M-75GS and M-75CS. Guild also designs and produces the first dreadnought guitar featuring a cutaway, and makes the first dreadnought-shaped 12-string guitars.

1980s

With the popularity of the heavy metal and hard rock, Guild introduces many solid-body guitars and basses with unique body shapes and design features. In 1983, the Talking Heads’ groundbreaking live concert “Stop Making Sense” is filmed. Lead singer David Byrne closes out the show playing a solid-body Guild on “Crosseyed and Painless.”

With the popularity of the heavy metal and hard rock, Guild introduces many solid-body guitars and basses with unique body shapes and design features. In 1983, the Talking Heads’ groundbreaking live concert “Stop Making Sense” is filmed. Lead singer David Byrne closes out the show playing a solid-body Guild on “Crosseyed and Painless.”

1993

Guild builds a double-neck guitar for Slash, called “the Crossroads.” It was a red semi-acoustic 12-string at the top, and 6-string electric on the bottom. As the story goes, Slash designed this guitar on a napkin. A green version dubbed “Godzilla” is made later and accompanies him during the tail end of the Guns N’ Roses years, as well as with Velvet Revolver.

Guild builds a double-neck guitar for Slash, called “the Crossroads.” It was a red semi-acoustic 12-string at the top, and 6-string electric on the bottom. As the story goes, Slash designed this guitar on a napkin. A green version dubbed “Godzilla” is made later and accompanies him during the tail end of the Guns N’ Roses years, as well as with Velvet Revolver.

1994

Soundgarden releases “Superunknown,” featuring the hit “Black Hole Sun.” Guitarist Kim Thayil, who found his signature Guild S-100 at age 19, is touted as a major influence and pioneer of the “Seattle Sound”.

Soundgarden releases “Superunknown,” featuring the hit “Black Hole Sun.” Guitarist Kim Thayil, who found his signature Guild S-100 at age 19, is touted as a major influence and pioneer of the “Seattle Sound”.

1995

Fender Musical Corporation purchases the Guild brand.

Fender Musical Corporation purchases the Guild brand.

2000s

Guild is moved from Westerly, RI to Corona, CA. In 2004, production moves again to Tacoma, WA where Guild ceases to make US-made electric guitars. A few years later, production moves again to New Hartford, CT.

Guild is moved from Westerly, RI to Corona, CA. In 2004, production moves again to Tacoma, WA where Guild ceases to make US-made electric guitars. A few years later, production moves again to New Hartford, CT.

2013

The opening of the Guild Custom Shop is announced as Guild celebrates their 60th anniversary. The Orpheum Series, designed by Ren Ferguson, is released. Guild also releases a limited run of 60 guitars called the 60th Anniversary model.

The opening of the Guild Custom Shop is announced as Guild celebrates their 60th anniversary. The Orpheum Series, designed by Ren Ferguson, is released. Guild also releases a limited run of 60 guitars called the 60th Anniversary model.

2013

Guild releases the Newark Street collection, re-releasing classic electric Guilds from the 1950s and 1960s, including the Starfire models, M-75 Aristocrat, and A-150 Savoy.

Guild releases the Newark Street collection, re-releasing classic electric Guilds from the 1950s and 1960s, including the Starfire models, M-75 Aristocrat, and A-150 Savoy.

June 2014

Guild is acquired from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation by Córdoba Music Group. Construction begins on a new California factory in Oxnard, CA.

Guild is acquired from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation by Córdoba Music Group. Construction begins on a new California factory in Oxnard, CA.

Early 2015

Construction of the California factory is completed, and an all-star manufacturing team is assembled.

Construction of the California factory is completed, and an all-star manufacturing team is assembled.

Summer 2015

Guild launches the new Westerly Collection, a line of all-solid and arched back acoustic guitars that honor Guild’s early history.

Guild launches the new Westerly Collection, a line of all-solid and arched back acoustic guitars that honor Guild’s early history.

December 2015

The first USA made M-20 and D-20 come off the line, marking the return of Guild USA manufacturing.

The first USA made M-20 and D-20 come off the line, marking the return of Guild USA manufacturing.

2016

Production of iconic models like the D-40 and D-55 begin; the classic S-200 T-Bird and Bluesbird are reissued.

Production of iconic models like the D-40 and D-55 begin; the classic S-200 T-Bird and Bluesbird are reissued.

Guild Statement