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Cool old vdeo of Fender factory about 1959

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I thought this footage was pretty cool...

 

then I saw this vid and found it even more interesting with some explanation :)

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Interesting how the narrator in vid #2 says that because of the design they were perfect for mass production and could be thrown together by unskilled labor to get them out the door and keep the company afloat. Now we pay outrageous money for an early one.

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Interesting, I wonder how many guitars they turned out per week compared with now. It would be nice to travel back in time and collect one of those Strats and put it away for a rainy day fund!

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Really cool video. Besides the lack of ear/eye/lung protection, the actual process of making the guitars is really similar to other modern-day factory videos I've seen. I like how the necks and Strat bodies were cut by hand. I would screw that up.

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Ah, American mass-production as we once knew it.

 

Once factories started moved overseas, unemployment started going up. Everyone used to work on an assembly line. That was the primary working-class job. Once that went, it's either you go to school and get a really good job or you're stuck flipping burgers (or bartending, etc). There is still the middle ground, but it ain't the same.

 

I love companies that make their product here, Gibson included.

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Great videos, thanks for posting them. Very cool and I think rare old footage, I hope they stay available on You Tube for a long time.

 

Interesting, I wonder how many guitars they turned out per week compared with now. It would be nice to travel back in time and collect one of those Strats and put it away for a rainy day fund!

One??? [tongue]

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I wasn't around in the 50s (born in '60) so I have no idea of the average player's mindset as it related to the Fender guitars 'back then'. I've read a lot but we collectively tend to be revisionist historians. Nothing like having been there.

 

I have a feeling Fender guitars (and most solid bodies) were looked upon with some scorn as we would expect. But probably to a more prevalent degree, people would look at them as a step down.

 

I'll explain.

 

My guess is that those playing cheap Kays lusted for more expensive Kays and those guys were lusting for an L-50 and those guys lusted for an L-7, and so on. It's a food chain thing. Along come these slabs from California and they had (gasp) bolt on necks, they were just "slabs of wood", they were cheap, somewhat crude... not sure if I'd have been comfortable lusting for something like that back then.

 

Not sure if I'm making any sense but I can truly relate to what they might have been feeling in the mid 50s. I just bought a used New England Firearms 12 gauge. It's crude, yet ruggedly built, not particularly graceful and not what I would view as a "hand down to my grandson" gun... it's not pretty like some hot shot engraved over/under; in fact it's kinda cheap and not something to boast about, but it's built like a tank and will do the job.

 

And it dawned on me, that 12 gauge is a Telecaster!

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I wasn't around in the 50s (born in '60) so I have no idea of the average player's mindset as it related to the Fender guitars 'back then'. I've read a lot but we collectively tend to be revisionist historians. Nothing like having been there.

 

I have a feeling Fender guitars (and most solid bodies) were looked upon with some scorn as we would expect. But probably to a more prevalent degree, people would look at them as a step down.

 

I'll explain.

 

My guess is that those playing cheap Kays lusted for more expensive Kays and those guys were lusting for an L-50 and those guys lusted for an L-7, and so on. It's a food chain thing. Along come these slabs from California and they had (gasp) bolt on necks, they were just "slabs of wood", they were cheap, somewhat crude... not sure if I'd have been comfortable lusting for something like that back then.

 

Not sure if I'm making any sense but I can truly relate to what they might have been feeling in the mid 50s. I just bought a used New England Firearms 12 gauge. It's crude, yet ruggedly built, not particularly graceful and not what I would view as a "hand down to my grandson" gun... it's not pretty like some hot shot engraved over/under; in fact it's kinda cheap and not something to boast about, but it's built like a tank and will do the job.

 

And it dawned on me, that 12 gauge is a Telecaster!

I like your perspective. I like to try and imagine what it was like, or as you, try and put things in a perspective of what it WAS actually like.

 

Another thing I might say, is that in the 50's, and even into the 60's perhaps, I don't think guitars were seen as the 'status' symbols they are today. I tend to think it might have been more like just another instrument, such as we might view a mando player or lap-steel guitarist today. Or, maybe a trumpet?

 

I also think, as such, the self-image was much less a part of it, if a part of it at all. So, a guitarist might choose or want a guitar based more on what it felt like to them, or looked like up close, kinda how we might choose a couch guitar for playing at home.

 

I kinda think you're right that the Fenders back then were viewed as "a step down", especially by pros who might see a guitar as a mainly accoustic-type instrument. But, I also kinda wonder if it wasn't thought of more as a gimmicky thing, a new type, or a toy, rather than a 'replacement' for what a REAL guitar should be.

 

It's interesting to note, that the Strat was actually on the cutting block as a model, and the LP had run it's course and was cut BEFORE they became popular, as in what we think of them today.

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