It was only in the late 1960s and early 70s when the two guitars were reintroduced to the market that they sold well.The Firebird, in the early 60s, was a reprise of the modernistic idea, though less extreme.
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In 1986, the company was acquired by its present owners. In 1936 Gibson introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150 followed by other electric instruments like steel guitars, banjos and mandolins.
Gibson is a privately held corporation owned by its chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz and its president David H. In addition to guitars, Gibson offers consumer electronics through its subsidiaries Gibson Innovations (Philips brand), TEAC Corporation (Teac and Esoteric brands), Onkyo Corporation (Onkyo and Pioneer brands), Cerwin Vega and Stanton, Orville Gibson began to sell his instruments in 1894 out of a one-room workshop in Kalamazoo Michigan. During World War II, instrument manufacturing at Gibson slowed due to shortages of wood and metal, and Gibson began manufacturing wood and metal parts for the military.
In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) which was acquired in 1969 by Panama-based conglomerate, Ecuadorian Company Limited (E. L.) that changed its name in the same year to Norlin Corporation.
Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated.
The new body design then became known as the SG (for "solid guitar"), due to disapproval from Les Paul himself.
The Les Paul returned to the Gibson catalog in 1968.
Between 19 production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo to Nashville, Tennessee. New production plants were opened in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as Bozeman, Montana.
The Kalamazoo plant kept going for a few years as a custom-instrument shop, but was closed in 1984; several Gibson employees led by plant manager Jim Duerloo established Heritage Guitars in the old factory, building versions of classic Gibson designs. The Memphis facility is used for semi-hollow and custom shop instruments, while the Bozeman facility is dedicated to acoustic instruments.
Norlin Musical Instruments was a member of Norlin Industries which was named for ECL president Norton Stevens and CMI president Arnold Berlin.