Martin Guitar’s Other Brands
Since 1900, Martin did make guitars, mandolins and ukes for other brands and guitar studios. No, this was not “common”. Just because your guitar looks like a Martin, doesn’t mean it is. Even if your instrument is one of the brands listed below, that does NOT mean it was necessarily made by Martin either! Just keep that in mind.
- Bacon: a few made for Bacon Banjos in 1924.
- Belltone: fifteen guitars, ten mandolins and twelve Style 3k ukes were made for Belltone.
- Bitting Special: Martin made some mandolins for this Bethlehem, PA teacher in 1916 to 1919.
- Ditson: in 1917 to 1919, and 1923 to 1930, Martin made some guitars for the Ditson company in Boston. Early models only have a “Ditson” stamp, later models have both the “Ditson” and “Martin” stamps. The 1923 to 1930 models have Martin serial numbers. Prior to this, 483 guitars of the original 1917 to 1919 series have been documented.
- Foden: In 1912 to 1917, Martin made guitars for concert guitarist William Foden. These are similar to the standard Martin models, but have simple soundhole rings and a 20 fret fingerboard (instead of 19). Made in sizes 0 and 00, the styles were similar to Martin’s Style 18, 21, 28, and a pearl trim model. Only 27 of these guitars have been documented to date.
- Jenkins: Martin made Style 1 and 2 ukes for this Kansas City mail order company.
- Olcott-Bickford: 32 guitars made for this guitarist.
- Paramount: Around 1930 Martin made about 36 guitars with strange construction. A style 2 size body mounted into a larger rim and back of rosewood, small round soundholes around a “lip” that joins the outer rims to the inner rims, no soundhole in the top, 14 frets clear, dot fingerboard inlays to the 15th fret, rounded peak peghead with standard Paramount banjo peghead inlay, banjo-style tuners, four or six strings.
- Schoenberg: In 1987 to 1994, Martin made some guitars similar to their OM-18, OM-28 OM-45, some 12 fret 000 models, and a few D models. The last Schoenberg/Martin was made in October 1994, serial number 541742.
- S.S. Stewart: Martin made ukes for this company in 1923 to 1925.
- Rolando: In 1916 to 1918 Martin made 261 guitar (numbered 1 to 261), and some later guitars with standard Martin serial numbers.
- Vega: Martin bought Vega Banjos in 1970 and moved production to their property in 1971. In 1979, Martin sold the Vega name. Some guitars were made under the Vega name during this period (but they mostly made banjos).
- Weymann: Around 1925 Martin made some Ukes for this company, but no guitars.
- Wurlitzer: In 1922 to 1925, Martin made 297 standard Martin models (but with a simplier soundhole rosette) for Wurlitzer. These have the Wurlitzer name and model number on the back of the peghead.
As you can see, Martin did not make very many guitars for other companies. So the chance that your non-Martin guitar is really a “Martin” is very unlikely!