Guide Welcome to Pickers Paradise

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The company's commemorative and deluxe first editions rise above the rigors of daily play to stand as superlative works of art.

Pickers Paradise at The Market - Virginia Is For Lovers

Six years later, he moved to Nazareth, in the Lehigh Valley, and built the first Martin factory in a redbrick building next to the family homestead on North Street. Six generations later, Martins are still the gold standard.

The company is headed by C. Chris Martin IV, who took the leadership role at age 30, after the death of his grandfather in Martin has sold more than 1. Martin attracts more than 40, visitors annually. Its museum is a huge draw.

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Sleek and spacious, it tells a well-paced story through rare, vintage guitars, photographs, graphic panels, and artifacts. It takes visitors through Martin's earliest guitars and into the s, when the company produced tens of thousands ukuleles made of Hawaiian koa wood. It gallops into the cowboy era of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in the '30s and '40s, and scoots into the country, rockabilly, and early rock-and-roll explosion of the '50s.

It wheels into the folk and rock boom of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, then pivots into the "unplugged" surge of the '90s and beyond. In an adjacent room, dazzling items from Chris Martin's personal guitar and art collection are spotlighted.

The most expensive guitar is a D built of Brazilian rosewood and other rare woods. Today, the company turns out more than guitars a day. Specialized instruments range well into the thousands. The company remains creative; 15 new guitars and ukulele models will be unveiled Jan. Inside the factory on Sycamore Street, the shop floor is humming full throttle. Burly, tattooed men and grandmotherly ladies attend their stations as lathes turn, sanders buzz, guitar bodies are burnished, and strings are strung.

At a time when job growth is largely stagnant, C. Our busiest time is from September through December and the demand is up this year.

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Back in the mids, when Boak was an art teacher, woodworker, and guitar player, he regularly raided Martin's trash bins to retrieve chunks of mahogany and thin cuts of rosewood, ebony, and spruce. With the scraps of exotic woods he built a few mountain dulcimers and a mando-guitar. Impressed, Martin offered him a job in design drafting.

That was 35 years ago. Ever since, Boak has excelled at numerous positions, earning the nickname "Mr. Lists with This Book.

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