The 1930s are known in most history books as the Great Depression, a time of great economic hardship and poverty. Ironically, this same period is also known as the Golden Era of Martin guitars. The innovations developed by Martin during this decade make them among the most desirable flat top guitars ever made.

The improvements made to the Martin line starting in the late twenties include a conversion to steel strings (1928), 14 frets clear of the body (1929), 24.9” scale length for 00 and 000 models (1933), and steel, T-bar neck reinforcement (1934). These changes, along with traditional X-bracing, gave Martins the volume and tone needed to cut through a group of performers better than ever before.

The two 1937 Martins spotlighted this month share the beautiful sunburst finish seen only during Martin’s Golden Era. In 1937, the 00- 18 listed for $45 while the 000-18 was $55. Detailed information on Martins can be found in Martin & Co. Est. 1833: A History by Mike Longworth and Martin Guitars by Richard Johnston and Jim Washburn.

Dave’s Comments: Both of these guitars came to my attention within 30 days of each other a few years ago. The funny thing was that they both came from different people in the same small Wisconsin town. Obviously a store in this area sold both of these Martins new back in 1937!

Dave''s Guitar Shop
Daves Roger’s Collection Is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally
All photos credit Tim Mullally
Dave’s Collection is on dispay at:
Dave''s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601