Since serial numbers weren't introduced until 1898, approximate dating of the earlier guitars can be accomplished by knowing when Martin made changes to their labels or to the brand, which can be found stamped into the back of the head, the upper part of the back, and just inside the soundhole on the long strut which reinforces the back joint. Ukuleles didn't have serial numbers, but Craig Thompson wrote, "I recently talked to the ukulele expert, Mike, at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.
The very earliest Martins, around 1833, had a paper label "Martin & Coupa". One good way of dating old Martin ukuleles is the headstock.
and serial numbers were added, beginning with #8000.
First, they stamped the logo on the back of the peghead (from circa 1895).
M Series Guitars Japanese made - Quilted soft maple, Alder, White ash, Flamed top, and Mahogany woods used, Ebony or Rosewood fretboards, both 22 fret and 24 fret. This site is dedicated to Valley Arts Guitars built prior to 1993, when the company was sold.
So on this site, the guitars we are referring to were built during that era.
Martin also built mandolins (introduced in 1895), ukuleles (introduced in 1915), taropatches (an 8-stringed ukulele), tiples (a 10-stringed ukulele), Hawaiian guitars, and tenor banjos (in 1923) plus a few custom instruments.
You can email [email protected](link on contact us page) for more information or questions. The size and style designation was written on a paper label, glued inside the top of the instrument case. Some pre-1898 guitars have the date penciled on the top just inside the sound hole.In 1996, Martin introduced a stock model 000-28EC Eric Clapton signature model acoustic guitar.Eric has called it “utilitarian” in the very best sense of the word.