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Model 000-18. Serial Number 61690.
John R. Barmeyer Collection, 2006.
Martin first made the 000 model in 1902 in its Style 21 and 28 trim levels. Also called the Auditorium size, at fifteen inches wide, it was one of the largest flat-top guitars of the time. The 000-18, with mahogany back and ribs, entered production in 1911. In 1929, Martin introduced a new version of the 000 body size, with fourteen frets clear of the body, rather than the previously standard twelve. This new design, called the Orchestra Model, was created at the request of Perry Bechtel, a virtuoso banjoist, who wanted a flat top guitar with a longer neck, like that of his Gibson L-5 archtop. In 1932-1933, Martin changed the Auditorium size Style 18 to the new long scale (25.4″), fourteen-fret OM design. The instrument was re-launched in 1934 under the old model number, 000-18, preserving the OM body, but with the earlier short scale (24.5″). It was offered for $55.00 in the July 1935 catalog, with a "dark color top instead of natural finish on special order at no extra charge."
Inscriptions: Branded on back graft: [lettering curved downward at each end] C.F.MARTIN & Co / — ∙ — / NAZARETH, PA.
Body: Soundboard: two-piece Adirondack spruce, wide grain. Back: two-piece mahogany; grain angled to converge in upper bouts. Ribs: two-piece mahogany with 14 reinforcement strips of black ribbon glued to inside of ribs, perpendicular to top and back. Head: mahogany veneered with rosewood on face. Neck: mahogany; integral with head.
Trim: Heel cap: ebony. Fingerboard: rosewood; 20 nickel-silver frets; single abalone dots behind 5th, 7th (smaller than dot behind 5th fret), 9th (smaller than dot behind 7th fret), and 15th frets (smaller than dot behind 7th fret); double abalone dots behind 12th fret (smaller than dot behind 7th fret); white celluloid side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 17th frets. Bridge: rosewood with curved lower edge; angled, bone saddle; black celluloid bridge pins. Tuners: six Grover, chrome-plated steel, worm-gear machine tuners with convex head surfaces and decoratively cut plate outlines. Endpin: black celluloid. Pick guard: imitation tortoise shell celluloid. Lacquer: dark red-brown to blonde sunburst with craquelure on top; clear with slight craquelure on back, ribs, neck, and head.
Inlay: Binding: imitation tortoise-shell celluloid; three-ply, white-black-white, thin celluloid strip trim. Rosette: wide band of white-and-black striped celluloid (9 strips), surrounded on each side with narrow black celluloid strips, with natural wood in between. Back stripe: none. End graft: ebony graft strip (slightly wider toward top than bottom).
Interior: Linings: kerfed mahogany. Neck block: mahogany; chamfered corners. End block: mahogany; chamfered corners; maple graft at center, perpendicular to top and back. Top bracing: spruce X-brace, the joint of main cross brace reinforced with brown canvas; scalloped transverse braces and finger braces in lower bouts; maple bridge plate. Back braces: spruce back graft; four spruce back braces, the two braces in the lower bouts with rounded edges, and wider and lower in height than the two braces in the upper bouts.
Literature: André P. Larson, "NMM Exhibition features Our Martin Guitars to Celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the C. F. Martin Company," National Music Museum Newsletter, 35, No. 2 (May 2008), pp. 4-5 and 7.
©National Music Museum, 2006-2008
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