Gretsch timeline

Friedrich Gretsch founds the Gretsch company.
Friedrich Gretsch dies. His fifteen-year-old son Fred Gretsch takes over.
Gretsch expands, moving to the 10-story Gretsch building at 60 Broadway in Brooklyn.
Gretsch uses its own name on guitars for the first time, rather than just selling to wholesalers.
Duke Kramer begins working for Gretsch.
The first Gretsch electric guitar, the Electromatic, is offered. Production of these early Electromatics was farmed out, probably to Kay, and not many were made.
The Synchromatic line of arch top acoustics was introduced to considerable success.
Bill Hagner joins Gretsch. He quickly becomes Production Manager.
Fred Gretsch retires. His son, William, takes over briefly. Gretsch stops guitar production to assist in war efforts.
Gretsch begins post-war production.
Jimmie Webster begins working regularly for Gretsch.
Fred Gretsch, Jr. takes over from William as head of Fred Gretsch Enterprises.
First post-war truly Gretsch Electromatic, debuts.
First cutaway bodies appear on Electromatic and new Electro II guitar models.
Duo-Jet production starts, kicking off the entire Jet line of solidbodies to come.
Electro II losses the Synchromatic headstock logo, and with the new T-roof logo (and truss rod adjuster on the headstock) the model is renamed Country Club, creating one of Gretsch's best-known and longest-lasting models.
Electromatic-cutaway (pre-Streamliner) debuts as the 6190-1 model.
Jimmie Webster convinces Chet Atkins to sign an endorsement deal, and the Streamliner Special #13753 (6120 prototype) is developed for Chet to approve.
Final script logos disappear and the well-known "T-roof" logo becomes the standard across all models.
Silver Jets (model 6129) debut
White Falcons introduced.
First Chet Atkins models, the 6120 Hollowbody and 6121 Solidbody, are introduced.
Dan Duffy is hired to oversee Gretsch Quality Control.
Duane Eddy buys a 6120 at Ziggie's Music in Phoenix.
Most models have "Humped Block" fret markers.
Tennessean introduced.
Country Gentleman introduced, bringing the number of Chet Atkins models up to four.
Dynasonics are dropped. Most models switch to FilterTrons.
Gretsch celebrates 75 years in business with the introduction of the Anniversary models.
Jimmy Webster unveils "Project-O-Sonic" stereo White Falcons and Anniversaries.
Zero Fret introduced.
HiLoTrons are introduced and fitted on Anniversaries, Tennesseans and Clippers.
Jets switch to double-cutaway bodies. For '61 only they retain chrome hardware.
6120 bodies narrow from almost three inches thick to about two. This was to be the last year of the classic single-­cutaway 6120.
Thinline, closed-top Electrotone bodies debut.
In February, the Beatles play on the "Ed Sullivan Show." George Harrison's use of a Country Gentleman creates a frenzy.
Blacktop FilterTrons make their first appearance on a batch or two of 6120s. The factory had run out of FilterTron covers, so they drilled HiLo covers for the extra row of polepeices.
Limited run of cats-eye Anniversaries made for Sam Ash Music chain, harkening back to the Synchromatic era. They lasted from roughly 1965 to 1968 and were available in red and black.
Fred Gretsch sells out to Baldwin Piano company.
"Made in the USA" stamp first appears on the back of headstocks mid-year.
Guitar production moved to Booneville, Ark.
Jets revert to single-cutaway body with the introduction of the 6127 Porsche Pumpkin RocJet and the 6130 Mercedes Black RocJet. The classic Duo Jet, Silver Jet and Jet Firebird quietly disappear.
Rally models discontinued.
Gretsch New York business offices shut down and moved to Chicago.
Guitar models are given new 7xxx model numbers. Numerous spec changes coincide.
Baldwin signs over production duties to Bill Hagner and his newly-formed Hagner Musical Instrument Corp. Arkansas guitar plant suffers two disastrous fires.
Production reverts from Bill Hagner back to Baldwin.
Sales and administration offices moved to Chanute, Kan.
Baldwin shuts down Gretsch guitar production.
An abortive attempt to relaunch guitar production in Jaurez, Mexico fails after only a handful of guitars are built.
Fred W. Gretsch, great-grandson of the company founder, regains control of the Gretsch company.
Travelling Wilburys guitars signal a beginning of new Gretsch production.
Modern Gretsch guitar production begins in earnest. Production lines are in Japan, with business offices in Savannah, Ga.
Brian Setzer signature 6120 line begins.
Ill-fated "Custom Shop" guitars are made (expensively) in America.
Duane Eddy Signature 6120 introduced.
Brian Setzer Hot Rods make a surprise debut on the December 21 Tonight Show on NBC. They were supposed to be unveiled a few weeks later at winter NAMM, but Setzer gave a rousing version of Jingle Bells on the show with the new models.
The "Synchromatic" line announced late in year. It was pretty much a duplicate of the Electromatic line, only available through select retailers.
Budget-priced, made in Korea "Electromatic" line announced late in year.
Gretsch buys Bigsby Accessories.
Mid-range Historic line introduced.
Elliot Easton signs on, and EE Signature Jets introduced.
Sweet Sixteen Rancher models announced in September.
On August 19, Gretsch and Fender Musical Instruments Corporation enter into an agreement that gives Fender virtually all control over the manufacturing and distribution of Gretsch guitars.
Korea-made lines are overhauled and simplified. The revised and upgraded Electromatic line is given 5xxx model numbers.
Budget-priced Synchromatic line dropped in favor of revamped and simplified Electromatic line-up.
FMIC-era serial number system begins around May. Note the first couple of months were hpyhenated before switching to the standard, non-hyphenated style.
Historic line dropped.
Sweet Sixteen Rancher models dropped.
Chet Atkins returns to the Gretsch family. After decades away, in January 2007 Chet Atkins name returned to Gretsch, and the Atkins-related models were allowed to revert to their classic names.
Tennessee Rose models revert to Tennessean naming.
Country Classic models revert to Country Gentleman naming.
Gretsch celebrates its 125th Anniversary with a few special models: the 6118-T 125th Anniversary, the 6118-T-LTV 125th Anniversary (with special Jaguar Tan lacquer finish and TV Jones PowerTrons) and a very limited edition 6120 finished in gold leaf. Note that all 2008 guitars had "125th Anniversary" badge attached. This does not make them Anniversary models, it makes them 2008 models.
George Harrison Jet unveiled.
Duane Eddy comes back into the Gretsch fold and an all-new Eddy Signature model is unveiled.