The history of the electric guitar


In today’s article, we will travel a little bit in time and learn more about the history of the electric guitar.

But specifically, let’s find out who the inventor of this instrument was.

History of the electric guitar

What would the world be without music? Each person has their musical taste and today we find instruments of the most varied types for those who like to make music.

And one of those very popular instruments is the electric guitar.

About its history and who was the inventor of this instrument, in reality, it was not something restricted to one person. The electric guitar, until reaching what it is today, went through many phases and had many responsible for the process.

The inventor: George Breed

It is important to mention that the instrument we know today is very different from its first versions.

Many believe that the electric guitar was invented by Les Paul, while others credit its creation to musician George Beauchamp and electrical engineer Adolph Rickenbacker.

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However, the history of creating this musical instrument begins long before they do.

In the year 1890, we have the design of an electric guitar developed by George Breed, a naval officer.

The sound of this instrument, however, was not comparable to that of today’s guitars. Besides, this instrument was quite heavy.

George Breed's electrified guitar | Bibliolore
George Breed electrified guitar

His next phase: the Luthier and musician Lloyd Allayre Loar

Who also contributed to the improvement of the electric guitar was the American musician and Luthier, Lloyd Allayre Loar.

Loar worked at Gibson for many years. And at that time he built many instruments.

But it was in 1923 that he built what many consider to be the first electric guitar. That it was an electric harp guitar.

Later, it was the turn of two companies to contribute to the advancement in the creation of the electric guitar.

This time, the idea came from the creation of the first electric banjos around 1920 by Vega. After that, the company Stromberg-Voisinet launched the first electric guitar; however, the company did not continue with the production but left its contribution.

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Lloyd Loar - Inventor of the Modern Electric Guitar | Gonzo Okanagan Online  News, Music, Technology, Sports, Film, Arts & Entertainment, Culture, Wine  & Dine... Life!
Lloyd Loar: Inventor of modern electric guitar

The first commercially viable electric guitar

It was in 1931 that the first commercially viable electric guitar was developed.

Those responsible for creating this guitar were: the Swiss-American engineer Adolph Rickenbacker and the American musician and inventor George Beauchamp.

The guitar had been launched through the company founded by both. And unlike the electric guitars previously released, theirs had a professional sound, that is, they could be used in concerts and presentations.

Years later Gibson also decided to enter this market. She brought the E-150 guitar and became popular.

But it was Leo Fender who produced the first guitar of its kind with a solid body. That was in the year 1950 and the guitar produced by him had only one pickup.

At first, the guitar was known as “Broadcaster”, but later on it would be replaced by “Telecaster”.

Paul Bigsby and Merle Travis also contributed years later, building such a guitar, but with a much lighter body.

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When was the first guitar made and who invented it? - Quora

The Les Paul era

Finally, it is the turn of Les Paul, known as the creator of this type of guitar, to do his part.

He was only 12 when he had the idea to “amplify” his guitar. And that was just before the contribution of some mentioned here, around 1927.

Years later, Les Paul began work on creating a solid body guitar. For that, he gathered pieces of different models of guitars and a piece of pine wood. But, at the time, Gibson rejected his creation.

However, there was a turnaround years later when Fender launched its Telecaster and became a success. Because of this, Gibson signed a contract with Les Paul in 1951 and the guitar produced was named after the musician.

Other companies also started to manufacture electric guitars at that time, such as Audiovox, Epiphone, and Volu-tone

Les Paul
Les Paul

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