In 1883 he founded a musical instrument shop in Brooklyn which prospered.The Fred Gretsch Company began manufacturing instruments in 1883 (while Friedrich maintained his proper name, he "Americanized" it for the company). Beginning with percussion, ukeleles, and banjos, Gretsch introduced guitars in the early 1930s, developing a well respected line of archtop orchestra models. Zildjian Cymbals, and debuted the Gretsch tenor guitar. was the primary president during the great Gretsch heyday, and was ably assisted by such notables as Jimmy Webster and Charles "Duke" Kramer (Kramer was involved with the Gretsch company from 1935 to his retirement in 1980, and was even involved after his retirement! During the 1950s, the majority of Gretsch´s guitar line was focused on electric six string Spanish instruments.
In most cases you can only get a ball park range for your production date.
You may want to start in the Guitars section, where you'll find our database of every Gretsch guitar model ever, plus serial numbers, features, examples and more.
Or maybe you just want to talk with other Gretsch guitar nuts or have a question for the Gretsch-perts?
With two major fires at the Gretsch factories in the past, most of the historical records were destroyed including any documents referencing serial number details for drum production.
Since these records are no longer available, we are unable to provide detailed production years of individual drums based on serial numbers.