Guitars

Decals

On June 22, 1932 Martin received a shipment of decals from Palm , Fechteler & Co. Based on unit costing from later orders it appears the first batch was for about 5,000 decals.
Martin put the decals into immediate use. The earliest reported guitar with a decal is a 1932 OM-18, serial number 50674, that was stamped on April 11, 1932. This guitar did not leave the finish department until June 29, so there was time for the decal to be applied before the finishing process was complete. Earlier guitars are known with decals but these are mostly guitars returned to Martin for repairs at a later date. Martin did send out decals to dealers and these dealers may have applied decals themselves on some earlier instruments.
Palm, Fechteler & Co. was renamed Palm Brothers Decal Co. in 1934 and was the sole supplier of decals to Martin until 1955. The Chicago Decal Co. received some decal orders in 1958 and 1959 and the Decal Manufacturing Co. supplied some "heavy duty" decals in 1961 although it is not clear what "heavy duty" meant. Palm Brothers shipped more decals in 1960 and 1962 but the last decal order in the purchasing records went to Meyincard Co. in 1963.
The familiar "C. F. Martin" decal was probably designed by Palm, Fechteler & Co. The author had the opportunity to examine the papers and samples of the Cincinnati branch of Palm Brothers Decal Co. that are archived in the  Cincinnati History Museum, hoping, unsuccessfully as it turns out, to find correspondence and samples for C. F. Martin decals. Palm Brothers had several branches and the orders for Martin decals went through the New York branch. About a dozen large boxes of samples were examined and the number of beautiful designs produced by Palm Brothers was quite staggering. Martin probably told Palm Brothers what information was required on the decal and left the artistic work to them, with Martin having final approval on the proposed design.
The purchasing records after 1930 do not supply much detail but #14118 decals were received in November 1941 and #14118-A decals in September 1945. Another decal design, #14416, was mentioned in orders from August 1946, May 1952 and August 1962.
Ukulele decals first appear in the January 1, 1935 inventory so must have been first purchased in 1934 at the latest.

 

50732 (1932)

 

52324 (1932)

 

54582 (1933)

 

55678 (1934)

 

60639 (1935)

 

1935-1936 Ukulele

 

61624 (1935) 

 

63571 (1936)

 

64676 (1936)

 

69919 (1938)

 

70187 (1938)

 

70503 (1938)

 

70903 (1938)

 

71356 (1938)

 

74767 (1940)

 

75511 (1940)

 

79925 (1941)

 

80422 (1942)

 

80852 (1942)

 

83777 (1943)

 

85283 (1943) 

 

89667 (1944)

 

90862 (1945)

 

91034 (1945)

 

92783 (1945)

 

93183 (1945)

 

96375 (1946)

 

97405 (1946)

 

97974 (1946)

 

99590 (1947) - small format for slot head guitars

 

100088 (1947)

 

101646 (1947)

 

102611 (1947)

 

103523 (1948)

 

103833 (1948)

 

104452 (1948)

 

109282 (1949)

 

109349 (1949)

 

125344 (1952)

 

125454 (1952)

 

149227 (1956)

 

149959 (1956)

 

152683 (1956)

 

154265 (1957)

 

157205 (1957 00-18G back of head stock))

 

158227 (1957)

 

162130 (1958)

 

163864 (1958)

 

167705 (1959) 

 

Note on shop order 266 (1962) concerning a "new decal",  beginning at serial number 184044.

 

186386 (1962) - small format for slot head guitars

 

191204 (1963)

 

192936 (1963)

 

221883 (1967)

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