Mandolin maker Orville Gibson founded the company now known as Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1902. A big name in bluegrass music as well as rock, Gibson is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson was an innovator in guitar design throughout the 1920s, specializing in arch top acoustic guitars. To this day, Gibson is known for fine acoustic guitars. Its popular acoustic and acoustic-electric models include the Dove, the SJ-200, the J-160E made famous by John Lennon, the Songwriter, the J-45 and the Hummingbird.
In 1936, Gibson introduced its first electric guitar, the ES-150, with a distinctive pickup considered one of the best jazz pickups ever made. In 1952, the first Gibson solid body electric guitar was introduced and endorsed by Les Paul. The newly renamed Les Paul electric guitar went on to become one of the most popular guitars of all time. Gibson quality is reflected in its bass guitars, as well. Gibson introduced its first bass guitar in 1953 and soon established itself as a bass company. The SG, Les Paul, and Thunderbird have become favorites of instrumentalists.