For more than 100 years Gretsch has developed what came to be known as "That Great Gretsch Sound," but it all began with a young German immigrant in Brooklyn.
At 27, Friedrich Gretsch founded a small musical instrument shop 1883 to make banjos, drums and tambourines. Only 12 years later Friedrich died, leaving the fledgling company in the hands of his teenage son Fred.
While it may be an unlikely start for a century-long (and growing) musical legacy, young Fred wasn't the typical teen. By 1916 he had built the company into one of America's leading importers and manufacturers of musical instruments, and the operations moved into a 10-story building at 60 Broadway in Brooklyn.
Fred knew listening to what the public wanted was the key to growth, and the public wanted guitars. So, Gretsch began making guitars.