Pocono Vacation Park
Anyone that knows me knows I am not a talented person. Today was a day when I wish I had inherited my Grandmothers musical talents. Okay, maybe also her natural curly hair. She could play a piano without reading music.
She thought I should learn to play a musical instrument and so I was given accordion lessons. The house was too small for a piano. During this time period, I had a school teacher tell me when the rest of the class was singing to just pretend like I was singing but not to sing. I could never keep time and finally the accordion instructor told my Mom that I was hopeless.
Knowing this you'll be surprised when I tell you how much I enjoyed our day today. I checked the website to see the times for the tours and found out the factory shuts down the entire week for the holiday. Not wanting to be on the highways tomorrow, we decided today had to be the day.
The walkway walking into the building was the head of a guitar and the reception desk was the body of the guitar. We were asked if we wanted a tour and were given a sticker and told our tour would leave in ten minutes.
Our tour group of seven people were called right on time. We were given a set of headsets and told how to adjust the volume.
Ben told us that the factory is 200,000 square feet and employs 600 people. C F Martin Guitar was started in 1855 in New York but was moved to Nazareth shortly afterwards.
Bill and I have been on many factory tours, but I have to say nothing as clean as this one. I can't believe all the wood cutting, sanding, and painting and no dust in the air and the floors were all clean.
This huge guitar was made by the employees that was used as a float in a parade.
Ben showed us the display of all the parts that go into making a guitar.
As we walked through the factory we saw guitars in different stages.
The machinery that is used is very complex and precise.
There were dust control devices everywhere. The entire building is climate controlled.
Ben is showing us all the different stages that are used. He said all of the employees can do different jobs.
Everyone of the employees were greeted by name. Notice the headphones I'm wearing. It was so easy to hear Ben speak.
Ben knew all of the processes and answered every question.
It was interesting how they bend these pieces--the modern way and also the traditional way.
Ben told us that it takes about 8 to 10 weeks to complete a guitar.
This employee is gluing the two pieces together.
This girl is buffing the edges.
They are always inspecting the parts.
This lady is fitting the necks to the body but then they go their separate ways until later in the process when the exact body and neck are attached.
I think they told us that they had 7 coats of lacquer.
We then learned that a sister factory in Mexico makes a cheaper version. These sell for around $2,000. We were told the ones from the Nazareth factory can range from $2,000 to over $100,000 and more than that.
I thought these "cheap" ones were beautiful.
If you ever get to eastern Pennsylvania make sure you take this tour.
If you can imagine it, they can make it.
The tour lasted a little of an hour but we still had the museum and of course the gift shop. We were handed a souvenir coaster with the C F Martin logo on them.
The museum was just as great as the tour.
This is a D-100 limited edition with a serial number 1,000,000 which was dated 2004. It is the most ornate instrument to date ever produced. The inlay is beautiful.
Here's the back side of the one millionth made. It is hard to see from the photo but it is a peacock that has colorful inlay.
Look at the ship design on this one.
I thought this was very interesting.
The photo didn't come out well, but I think you can understand what this did for him.
This is what the early days would have looked like.
There are a lot of famous musicians that own a Martin.
I also failed to mention that the tour of the factory and the museum are free. If I would have been charged $20 to go through the place, I would have said it was a bargain. It was an enjoyable day and an experience we'll never forget.
As we were driving home, Bill and I both made a comment about how many elderly people were employed there. They must love their work so much, they don't want to retire.