The Martin Ukulele is a detailed look at the ukuleles built by the C. F. Martin Co. of Nazareth, PA, and at how the instruments’ success forever changed the company that made them. Martin’s ukulele-making led the small, respected builder of fine guitars and mandolins into an era of unprecedented growth in the 1920s and helped it become one of the most legendary manufacturers of high-quality guitars in the world.
Drawing heavily from the extensive archives at the Martin factory, the book examines the company and its development, from production records, sales ledgers, and a vast collection of correspondence to hundreds of photos, including many of the rarest ukuleles the company produced. Extensive additional imagery chronicles the history of the popularity of the ukulele itself.
The book is both a narrative about Martin’s ukulele manufacturing history and a reference work detailing the numbers of each style of ukulele ever made by the company. It is an exploration from Martin’s first attempt at production in 1907, to the peaks of ukulele popularity in the 1920s and ’50s, to the disinterest that caused Martin to cease ukulele production in the 1990s, to the recent resurgence that has allowed the firm to again offer a wide assortment of new models.