Thursday, February 26, 2009

4-9-1930:*******UNDER WESTERN STARS******* Roy Rogers and the true story of the OM-45 Deluxe

This unique and historically important Martin guitar was purchased used at a California pawn shop in 1933 by a young and unknown musician who would go on to live the ultimate American dream. A year before forming the seminal vocal/instrumental combo The Sons of the Pioneers, Leonard Slye scraped together the princely sum of $30.00 for this used 1930 C.F. Martin OM-45 Deluxe, his first professional quality guitar. The boy who would become cowboy legend Roy Rogers had no way of knowing that his flashy new instrument would later be recognized as being of great historical significance: it was the very first OM-45 Deluxe model guitar Martin produced, the prototype for one of Martin's rarest, most beautiful and highly coveted models.

Leonard Franklin Slye was born on November 11th, 1911. The future Roy Rogers first headed west to California from Ohio with his father, Andrew Slye, in 1930. While on a four-month visit to Leonard's older sister and her husband, the Slyes found work as truck drivers, loading up beach sand and gravel to drop off at local golf courses. Shortly after returning to Ohio, Leonard packed his bags for good and traveled back to California, convinced that his future lay on the West Coast.

At the same time, back in Nazareth, PA, C.F. Martin & Co. was also undergoing rapid change. The success of the new OM ("Orchestra Model") design with a 14-fret neck/body joint was having a major impact on the company's previously highly traditional guitar line. Frank Henry Martin, his son C.F. Martin III and James Markley (Martin's first outside sales rep.) soon realized that the custom order features Markley had filled at the request of Atlanta guitarist/banjoist Perry Bechtel could be applied to any Martin style. The first production OM guitars are noted in Martin's body assembly foreman notes as "000-28 Specials," "000-28 Perry Bechtel Models" or "000-28 Professional Models"; the OM nomenclature did not appear for the first half dozen of the new 14-fret models Martin produced in 1929. By early 1930 the term "Orchestra Model" had been made known to Martin's dealer network and the the OM was offered in Martin's Style 18 and 28. The new line was then expanded upwards, and plans to produce the OM in another, more expensive version were hatched in March of 1930. On 3-7-30 body assembly foreman John Deichman made note of the first two pearl-inlaid OM-45's. This is the initial record of Martin offering their most lavish and expensive treatment to the world's first modern flattop guitar.
Meanwhile, upon returning to California, Leonard Slye had taken a job as a peach picker, receiving a nickel for every lug he filled. By 1931, Slye's family had sold their Ohio farm and moved west to join their son, for a time finding refuge at the same migrant laborers camp that author John Steinbeck stayed in. Leonard's menial field job didn't last long, and he soon moved south to Los Angeles to try and make a living at what he loved most - music. In 1933 along with Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer, Leonard found work as a vocal trio for the band "Jack and his Texas Outlaws." Slye and his pals called themselves the Pioneer Trio and after securing a sponsor began to receive a whopping $35 a week paycheck. According to Roy Rogers Jr., it was around this time that his father acquired the OM-45 Deluxe which would later become synonymous with the stage and film persona of Roy Rogers. "It's worth 30 bucks to me, that's what I paid for it," said Rogers to his son at the time the Roy Rogers Museum opened in Apple Valley, California in 1967. Roy said he had purchased the guitar used at a pawn shop the year before the Sons of the Pioneers were formed. While $30 is a long way down from the $225 the guitar originally sold for new in 1930, it is not known who the guitar was originally sold to and what happened between that 1930 purchase and Slye's bargain buy a few years later.

What is certain is the information still found in C.F. Martin's records, and like many things in Martin's history, upon closer inspection the numbers often tell a previously unknown story. Comparing the timeline of Frank Henry Martin's order and expense record books with the serial number log and the body assembly foreman’s notes for the first OM-45 and OM-45 Deluxe models, it's clear that serial number 42125, the OM-45 Deluxe made famous by Roy Rogers, is the very first OM-45 Deluxe model produced.

While doing research in the Martin archives for his book, "Martin Guitars: A History," pioneering Martin guitar historian Mike Longworth noted 14 OM-45 Deluxe model guitars produced in total, all in 1930. To document the production of all instruments made this year, Longworth referred to the body assembly foreman notes, which listed model codes, shop orders and serial numbers. At this time the first step in the production of an instrument was to stamp the neck block with the serial number, which would then allow the workers in all further assembly departments to know exactly what model guitar was under construction and what parts were needed. Although there were some stand-alone orders, C.F. Martin made most guitars in batches ranging from 2 to 50 guitars in each lot. Serial numbers 42125-42126 are listed in the body assembly foreman notes under Shop Order #665 as OM-45 models, stamped April 9th, 1930.

Longworth made note of these two guitars as OM-45 models and not OM-45 Deluxes, but it was not unusual for Martin to fail to use the same wording that appeared in later catalogs when production of the first example(s) of a model were begun, as seen with the first "OM" models produced in 1929. The early chronology of these models can be determined thusly:

On 3-5-30 Frank Henry noted an order from an Akron, Ohio dealer for the very first OM-45.

On 3-7-30, foreman shop order (or S.O.) #646 for two OM-45 models was entered.

On 4-3-30, an order was entered for an OM-45 to be shipped to Oakland, CA.

The records suggest that the orders from Akron, OH and Oakland, CA represent where the first two OM-45 models Martin produced were sent.

On 4-9-30, foreman shop order #665 for two OM-45 models was entered. The serial numbers were 42125-42126 (42125 being Roy’s OM-45 Deluxe). In Longworth's personal records he notes that OM-45 #42126 has '”banjo pegs.” Longworth noted this in pen, most likely after seeing that instrument firsthand as was his habit with other such references. In Frank Henry Martin’s expense book on 4-11-30 he notes this purchase: "Inlaying 2 special guard plates for 45 guitar, $7.11.” These are the first OM-45 Deluxe pickguards (they were called “guards” or “guard plates” at the time) purchased from the New York supplier from which Martin acquired these unique parts. This record is for payment, which means Frank Henry had ordered these guards approximately two weeks prior to receiving them. This payment date also indicates that Martin either already had the inlaid pickguards in its possession when work on shop order #665 was begun, or knew they were about to arrive.

The pickguard on the Rogers guitar is unlike any subsequent Deluxe models but can also be seen in Martin's 1930 catalog, suggesting that this particular instrument is the same one seen in the catalog image. It's possible that the supplier that shipped Martin these two guards offered two versions of the piece for Martin to choose from, or that the design was changed immediately. The first unique version was fitted to Roy's Deluxe (probably photographed for the catalog prior to shipment) with the latter one going on the subsequent Deluxe model. It's also interesting to note that there is at least one record of Martin shipping a single inlaid Deluxe pickguard to an individual later in 1930.

In Martin’s order book on 5-29-30, there is recorded an order from California jobber/music chain Sherman, Clay & Co, billed to the main store in San Francisco. This order for guitars and ukuleles was shipped to the Sherman, Clay branch in Oakland, CA. Included were six Style O ukes, one OM-45 + Style D case and one OM-45 Deluxe. This is the first record of Martin using the term “OM-45 Deluxe” that has been found in the surviving archives. Comparing the foreman records and the order book, it is evident that the OM-45 guitars sent to Sherman, Clay in Oakland were serial numbers 42125 and 42126, of which only 42125 was a Deluxe model. The next listing in the order book for an OM-45 Deluxe is on 7-23-30, ordered from a Denver, Colorado dealer to be set up "Hawaiian style." C.F. Martin III took that order directly while on a sales trip.

On 7-26-30 foreman shop order #760 for an “OM-45 Deluxe - For Hawaiian Playing" is noted. This is the first record of the designation “OM-45 Deluxe” in the foreman’s notes, and is the first of the fourteen previously known Deluxe models in Mike Longworth's serial number log.

At a time when Leonard Slye and his group's breakfast was "catsup, salt and pepper mixed into water glasses", Slye made an investment in his future as a professional musician, finding the money to purchase what would go on to become one of the most iconic Martin guitars. At the time, no one had any clue that it was also the earliest example of the most deluxe modern flattop guitar the company ever offered. It is generally assumed that Slye purchased this OM already fitted with the Grover G-98 pegs seen in all early images of him with the guitar, although it was originally equipped with engraved gold-plated Grover banjo pegs. Sometime around 1939 he changed the tuners again to the sealed Kluson units with amber buttons that are still on the guitar. In the 1930s, while performing from midnight to 6am with Farley's "Gold Star Rangers," Slye placed a silver star-shaped sticker on the guitar’s top beneath the bridge, showing support for their sponsors, the Gold Star Bread Company. The sticker remains in place today.

In 1938 when Gene Autry temporarily walked out of his film contract with Republic Pictures, "Leonard Slye" became "Roy Rogers" and was assigned the lead role in "Under Western Stars." The film earned an Academy Award Nomination for best song and made Rogers an instant star, billed ever after as the "King of the Cowboys." Rogers retired his Deluxe by the mid-1940s, in favor of a larger Gibson Super 400. When the guitar was pulled from his collection in 1967 for display at the Roy Rogers museum it was placed in a glass case. Its serial number, 42125, stamped into the neck block, would years later reveal that this particular guitar has epic historical significance beyond its already documented celebrity status. How fitting that this unique OM was, unknown to its owner or anyone else, already the stuff of legend even before that fateful pawnshop encounter with a future western idol.

Roy Rogers and his OM-45 Deluxe in the 1938 film; "Under Western Stars."

Special thanks to Peter Kohman and Richard Johnston for their help with this piece. Dick Boak, Chris Thomas and Mike Dickinson at C.F. Martin for their continued support. Ken Fallon for the current photos of the guitar, and Roy Rogers Jr. for his interviews and period photos of his father.

Friday, June 27, 2008

9-29-64: Martin begins to phase out hide glue

A notation from Grant Remaley's personal notebook.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

11-23-1932: Roy Smeck’s rejection letter

Although C.F. Martin had produced a handful of artist-branded guitars prior to 1932, unlike other companies during the period, they didn’t market the instruments themselves. Guitarists such as Vahdah Olcott-Bickford who had been ordering numerous artist-branded guitars from Martin since the teens, were solely responsible for the marketing/sales of her exclusively branded line.

The idea of an artist-endorsed instrument was popularized by 1926, when Gibson first branded its Nick Lucas Model in their freshman year of building flattop guitars. That same year, Harmony created their custom line of Roy Smeck "Vita" instruments. However, Smeck obviously preferred his Martin instruments and continued to perform with them throughout the 20s and 30s.

Roy Smeck, a native of Pennsylvania, had been dealing with Martin since his early days in vaudeville. By 1932 he had already had his hands on two of the most important Martin guitars produced during the company’s greatest period of innovation. Smeck is responsible for ordering the first Dreadnought guitar made after the initial run of Ditson branded “Dreadnaught” shaped instruments, revitalizing the Dreadnought model from extinction. While visiting the North Street Factory in 1929, he also strummed the custom 14-fret 000-28 made for Perry Bechtel of Atlanta. In a 1929 letter from C.F. Martin III to Bechtel, Martin noted that Smeck thought Perry had “great foresight in having the guitar made-up.”

Speaking on Smeck’s behalf in 1932, Alex Kolbe, late-night Smeck pal and editor of the Musical Merchandise Magazine, again asked Martin if they would consider branding a Martin/Smeck guitar. Kolbe writes: “Now here is the reason for my writing you the forementioned. Gibson in Kalamazoo and the Schireson Bros. in Los Angeles and two Eastern houses have been after Mr. Smeck for the purpose of putting out a line of guitars bearing his name. Two other companies in question were agreeable in organizing a Roy Smeck firm and for some unknown reason, Roy Smeck prefers his Martin guitar.”

In 1932 C.F. Martin & Co. was working at 60% capacity, having laid-off many of their workforce due to the struggling economy. The idea of having one of the most popular guitarists in the nation endorsing Martin guitars must have first been appealing for C.F. III, however, his response was most eloquent.

“Thank you for your interesting letter with the suggestion that we put out a Roy Smeck line of Guitars. Considering the matter impersonally, because the fact that we like Roy and wish him all possible success would not be a sufficient motive, we must be guided by out policy in such matters and that is to put the greatest possible intrinsic value in Martin Instruments but not to use the name of any individual in addition to or in place of our own. While there is undoubted advertising value in the names like Nick Lucas and Roy Smeck, we still think that our policy of sticking to our own name is right. In years past we have made for certain customers special lines bearing their name; for example, a Ditson line, and we are willing to do that now if Mr. Smeck himself or any suitable dealer or jobber wishes to market a Roy Smeck line. In such cases we advise the use of our name as well as the special name because the experience has been that the name Martin helps to put the goods across. In sort, we are willing to make a Roy Smeck line of instruments but we do not care to market them. That gives you something to think about.”In 1934 Gibson produced the “Jumbo” line of Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe Hawaiian guitars. As the Wizard progressed throughout his career in the 1930s, he abandoned his favored Martin 00-40H for his newly endorsed model. However, according to Smeck, only a Martin was good enough.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

5-11-1934: Tex Fletcher and the first C.F. Martin D-42 Model Guitar

In the spring of 1934, Geremino Bisceglia, better known as “Tex Fletcher,” contacted C.F. Martin and requested a pearl-trimmed Dreadnought guitar with his name inlayed into the fingerboard, similar to the first D-45 made for Gene Autry the previous year.

While Autry’s D-45 featured standard 45-Series pearl trim appointments on the back and sides, Fletcher opted to have all his "flash" up front, where it would be seen by the audience. Tex requested that Martin produce the special order Dreadnought in their Style 42 design, which offered pearl inlay only on the face of the instrument, plus "Tex Fletcher" in large block letters that barely fit on the fretboard.

Although strung as a "righty," Tex played the guitar left-handed. The D-42 was the second 40-Series Dreadnought guitar ever made, stamped May 11th, 1934, a week before another cowboy singer, Jackie “Kid” Moore, ordered a D-45 similar to Autry's. The fad of performing with a fancy guitar with your name on the neck had of course begun with Jimmie Rodgers, who's custom Martin had inspired Autry and countless later stars to turn their guitar into a full-time press agent.

In 1970, legendary Martin guitar historian Mike Longworth, contacted Fletcher and the guitar was eventually donated to the C.F. Martin museum where it is currently on display.

The original 1934 records and correspondence between Tex Fletcher and C.F. Martin will be included in the upcoming book, “Birth of the Dreadnought.”

Photo courtesy of the Tex Fletcher family.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

9-5-1934: C.F. Martin orders T-fretwire from the Horton-Angell Co. ~ But there’s a catch

(The initial 1934 T-fret sample from Horton Angell)

In 1934, shortly after celebrating their Centennial Anniversary, C.F. Martin made several changes to their line-up. Of the changes, the short lived OM series was discontinued and the “OM” was renamed the “000.” In Martin’s 1934 catalogue, any flattop guitar that featured a 14-fret to body neck joint was named an “Orchestra Model,” while the traditional 12-fret Martin design was named a “Standard Model.” The 000 later that year received the shorter Martin 24.9” scale length (it had been 25.4” since 1902). The bar-style fretwire used the last 100 years was replaced with a modern T-style wire, and along with that, the ebony truss-rod neck reinforcement was replaced with a steel “T”-rod.

Many of us are familiar with these changes, but what might not be too obvious is the actual fretwire material Martin had been using and subsequently used when the T-wire was introduced to the line.

Virtually all fretwire then and now is made of 18% Nickel-Silver, an alloy usually containing approximately 18% nickel, 65% copper and 17% zinc. “Nickel-Silver” is a euphemism denoting a stainless silver substitute, an old term, never actually containing real silver alloy. You’ll find it in the zipper of your favorite old jacket, the silverware your grandmother handed down, your old model railway lines and the musical instruments hidden in your closet. Nickel-Silver became widely used in the 1920s, mainly due to its machinability and corrosion resistance. The higher percentage of nickel used, the harder the material.In Clinton F. Smith’s 1927 patent for a “Fret for Musical Instrument," the Attleboro, Massachusetts inventor notes his style ‘T’ wire “preferably disposed in an alternate arrangement, and are not oppositely positioned, although arranged on opposite sides of the fret wire… Each of these frets consists of a wire ‘4’ having lateral projections shaped like the barb of a fish hook as shown. This 'peculiar shape' permits of pushing the frets into place easily but project into the neck of the instrument to securely hold the fret in the place and reduces the possibility of their coming loose when the instrument is in use.”

Although other examples of T-wire were made decades previous, Smith’s “alternate fish-hook arrangement” would prove to be a standard in fretwire design to this day. After receiving sample requests from other fretwire vendors, C.F. Martin decided on the Attleboro based Horton-Angell Company, C. Smith’s employer.

Below is a transcribed portion of a letter from C.F. Martin III to Horton-Angell, dated 8-31-1934:

“Gentlemen: After long consideration we have about decided to change from solid nickel silver frets to T frets and we are interested in your No. 3091 pattern of which you sent us a small quantity last month. We have been using thirty per cent nickel silver wire in the solid frets, rolling it ourselves, and we are very anxious to continue to use this grade of material in the T frets."

Horton-Angell was at first reluctant to produce a T-wire with a higher nickel content for a single account, as it wasn’t a stock option. But upon receiving a request for 100 pounds of the 30% grade from C.F. Martin at a higher cost, they soon agreed.It’s unclear in Martin’s records just how long they used the 30% nickel T-wire, and it’s possible it was only produced for this single order. Martin also ordered 100 pounds of 18% nickel wire in this same order, and it’s uncertain in their records as to which guitars received the wire with higher nickel content. It was found however, in Frank Henry Martin’s sales notations during the period, that a young independent luthier from New York was buying bar fretwire from C.F. Martin as early as 1931, presumably because they were manufacturing the unique, resilient wire themselves. John D’Angelico soon became a formative archtop guitar-maker in New York City, along with the fretwire produced at C.F. Martin’s North Street factory.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

1-31-1927: MMR Magazine visits C.F. Martin's North Street factory

1-31-1927 Musical Merchandise Review Magazine: "The present Martin factory, located in a small Pennsylvania village a short distance from New York, is a model of modern efficient manufacturing facilities. Up-to-date machinery and equipment are used throughout, although practically every operation in the manufacture of Martin instruments is done by hand. It is a large and roomy fireproof daylight factory of four stories. The walls give the impression of being 95 per cent windows and this with the whitewashed interiors and high-lofted "barreled sunlight" ceilings brighten up the plant to a degree that makes contented and productive workmen.

The character of such a community as Nazareth insures a supply of workmen of the true craftsman class and the personnel of the Martin organization includes many men who have spent a lifetime on the Martin payroll. Conditions are such that the employment turnover is not only slight but the workmanship is diligent and painstaking."

Inside images of the North Street factory during the period will be included in "Birth of the Dreadnought."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Harry Lawrence Hunt and the Dreadnought Guitar

In 1916, while serving as manager of the Charles H. Ditson Store in New York, Harry L. Hunt conceived and named the Dreadnought guitar. Hunt began dealing with C.F. Martin in 1893 while employed at the William A. Pond Company in New York. He soon left Pond for the more lucrative position as manager of Ditson's musical instrument department. Shortly before Ditson's demise he opened the Lyon & Healy Harp Salon in New York's Steinway Hall, leaving the fretted instrument trade for good.

A complete biography of Hunt, as well as the lead-up to the development of Martin's Dreadnought guitar, will be discussed in great detail in the upcoming book, "Birth of the Dreadnought."

7-22-1932: C.F. Martin/Harptone guitar case price list

In the 1920s and 30s, the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. offered several case options for their many different instrument models. Unlike today, the cases were not included in the price of the instrument, and it’s surprising how many guitars during the period were ordered and shipped without cases. Dealers would often source cases from their own vendors after receiving instruments, leaving us now to wonder whether or not the vintage Martin we just bought indeed has the original case.

Although Martin purchased cases from a variety of different vendors for their many different instrument models, by 1932, the Harptone Manufacturing Corp. of Newark N.J. was the leading supplier of cases for the Nazareth guitar manufacture. Martin offered four different case options for their instruments, Style A, B, C and D.

The following is a description of each, taken from a March 16th, 1931 Martin Price List:

Style A - Canvas, covering on stiff strawboard, flannel lining, end-opening.

Style B – Keratol, brown alligator grain, on heavy chipboard, flannel lining, nickel trimmings, side-opening.

Style C – Keratol, black seal grain, on three-ply wood, padded duvetyn flannel lining, nickeled brass trimmings, side opening.

Style D – Keratol, same as Style C except silk plush lining.

Today, the "hardshell" Style C case is the most common case we find, as many of the A and B cases have failed over time. Martin also rarely received requests for the Style A case from dealers during the period. Harptone's Deluxe case offered, Martin's "Style D," were mainly ordered by dealers to go along with 40-Series Martin guitars, although there were exceptions.

Below is a July 23rd, 1932 hand-typed Harptone case price list by C.F. Martin III, at cost. Note the 1932 listing of; “Ditson Dreadnaught.”


Seems that some are still confused on the originality of these period cases, so I've included this 1935 letter from Lifton Mfg. to C.F. Martin. Notice they write "We are having requests for cases for these instruments." Lifton was receiving requests from the dealers Martin was shipping guitars to without cases, which were many. Martin sent Lifton the needed paper drawing of their new F model archtop after receiving this letter, so Lifton could then begin filling dealer requests. This was common when a new model was released.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

4-17-29: A.D. Grover reports ~ Guy Hart, GM of Gibson, suffers a "Nervous Breakdown"

Six months before the 1929 stock market crash, Gibson's General Manager, Guy Hart, suffered a "nervous breakdown" and "left for Arizona for a rest." All this, according to A.D. Grover of New York who kept close ties with both Hart and C.F. Martin.

Direct correspondence between Hart and C.F. Martin during the period will be further reviewed in the upcoming book; "Birth of the Dreadnought."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

1930 C.F. Martin OM-45 Deluxe hand tinted photo engraving

The original hand tinted photo engraving for the 1930 OM-45 Deluxe catalogue listing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

10-19-1956: Elvis rumored to visit C.F. Martin's North Street Factory

By 1956, C.F. Martin's North Street factory had seen its share of six-string celebrities. The "Wizard," the "Father" and the "Singing Cowboy" to name a few. But when Elvis Presley was rumored to visit Martin while traveling to New York for his second Ed Sullivan TV appearance in October of 1956, word quickly spread throughout the entire Lehigh Valley. "Telephones were clanging to spread the story and by early gather to get a look at the teen-age idol," so said the Bethlehem Globe-Times on October 19th, 1956. "C. Fredrick Martin, head of the long-established company, said there was "no foundation for the rumor." He added, "We have had no word from either Presley or his manager."

Turns out, Elvis was in Memphis, where it was reported he became "embroiled in a fist fight with a service station manager during an autograph session." Nine days after this article was published to the folks in Nazareth, Elvis, along with his 1955 Martin D-28, performed "Hound Dog" on The Ed Sullivan Show, without a scratch on him.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

1-31-1924: Mr. Shaffer's Custom "reed reef" inlaid 0-42 ~ Denied!

It was rare for Martin to reject a custom order, but in January of 1924, this one seemed a bit over-the-top for the booming little Nazareth guitar factory. Enclosed is a drawing by Mr. W.F. Shaffer, who wrote Rudolf Wurlitzer requesting their catalog #2092 (Martin's 0-42) be highly ornamented with custom top, side and headplate inlays. Herbert Keller Martin responded politely, "... we are very sorry that the crowded condition of our factory makes it impossible to oblige you. We suggest that the inlaying required would amount to the price of our Style 45. Possibly this instrument would interest your prospect. This being a regular style, shipment could be made in a few months." Although the North Street factory would undergo a large expansion the following year, no records show of a "reed reef" inlaid 0-42 being shipped.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

April, 1934: C.F. Martin & Co. magazine ad

The $210.00 model was the 1934 C-3 Deluxe, Martin's most expensive cataloged model at the time.

Friday, January 4, 2008

7-19-1916: John Deichman patterns the Dreadnought

In the summer of 1916, John Henry Deichman drafted what would become the most copied acoustic guitar design to this day. While later foreman, Deichman also patterned the first "OM's" for Martin, helping transform the nearly 100 year-old company into the leading manufacturer of steel-string flattop guitars. With the help of his family, "Birth of the Dreadnought" devotes an entire chapter to John and the genius that was, Deichman.

5-14-1934: Urgent telegram from Wurlitzer of Milwaukee ~ Reason: The second D-45

Soon after placing his order with Rudolf Wurlitzer of Milwaukee, Jackie "Kid" Moore learns his Custom D-45 is being constructed as a 'new' 14-fret Dreadnought "Orchestra Model." As of May 1934, Martin was near completion of the guitar body for the Kid. But after receiving this telegraph, C.F. Martin III stopped production of the 'new' shortened bodied Dreadnought and agreed to "...make up another special D-45 Dreadnaught Guitar in the old model with twelve frets clear of the body." "The work will be started promptly and we expect to finish it in about three weeks."

The complete story of this guitar will be published in "Birth of the Dreadnought." As well as the story of the D-45 that came before it.