About the Fender Guitar Patent
Clarence Leonidas Fender is an American who founded Fender Electric Instrumental Manufacturing Company commonly known as Fender. While Leo never learned how to play the guitar, surprisingly he play a hug part in developing the modern electric guitar. Before he started Fender, Leo had lost his job in the great depression and decided to start the Fender Radio and Record shop after fiddling with electronics during his private time.
While in the company, he developed the telecaster – the first commercially successful electric guitar – as well as the Stratocaster and the Precision bass. The reason he never learned how to play some of these instruments he was making was because he was an engineer, not a musician. His love for electronics begun when Fender was 14 years old. His defining moment was when his uncle – John West - built a radio loudspeaker from spare parts. He later went to work as an accountant after graduating from college, a position he held until the great depression.
His love for music and electronics led Fender to do amplifier repairs at his Fender Radio and Record shop. During this time Fender designed his own custom amplifier. After a couple of years, Fender partnered with Clayton Kauffman to start a company called K & F Manufacturing Corporation. The company specialized in designing Hawaiian amplifiers and guitars. His most iconic design was a guitar that would sit on the player’s lap while being played with a metal slide. Fender and Doc also patented these ‘steel’ guitars, which they sold with an amplifier included. Over the years Fender redesigned the ‘Broadcaster’ into the popular Telecaster. That iconic Telecaster designs is the patent art that you see here.
After WWII many music groups emerged playing music genres like rhythm and blues, western swing and boogie-woogie. The groups found the electric guitar to be revolutionary as they could play an entire hall with the extra power. The emergence of dance halls and the freedom that came after the war meant that fans were looking for something authentic and louder. Fender instruments served this niche as they were well established and known to be long-lasting, while still being affordable. At the time the most popular guitar was the Spanish Electro guitar. By 1949, Fender had finished his prototype for a guitar that was easy to hold on the lap while being easy to tune. Fender Esquire was introduced in 1950.
Today, Leo’s business, the Fender Musical Instruments Company, is the largest company for stringed instruments in the world, with sales of over 200 million dollars. You can see some of his early designs at the Fender Guitar Factory Museum. In 1992, Fender was inducted into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame. Leo’s patent art is available on Alto Cole, and showcases some of those iconic Fender designs.
Fender is known as the inventor of the electric guitar. He revolutionized a guitar that was easy to hold and play. His iconic drawings are available as guitar patent drawings online. These drawings help keep the legacy that Fender started alive. Fender finally succumbed to Parkinson’s disease on March 21, 1991. But he leaves a legacy that will live on forever.