The Martin Carl Fischer Model 0-18T Tenor Guitar

Designed for the Carl Fischer Stores



This design, requested by Al Esposito of the Carl Fischer Stores, was the first successful Martin guitar with 14 frets clear of the body, leading to the design of the OM, or Orchestra Model





1930 Martin Carl Fischer Model, and 1930 Martin 0-18T


As the hugely popular banjo was beginning to wane, players were looking for a substitute,  so manufacturers were wanting to supply a guitar with the longer 4 string neck banjo players were accustomed to, which allowed easier access to the high frets.


The first attempt to create a neck with 14 frets clear of the body, in 1929, resulted in an elongated body and high bridge, a design that was not entirely successful due to the less than sonically ideal bridge placement.  A month after the Carl Fischer designation was dropped, in May, 1930, the current variation, with a shorter and flatter upper bout, was introduced.





1928 Martin 2-18TL, 1930 Martin Carl Fischer Model, and 1930 Martin 0-18T


Three 14 fret Martin tenor guitars, the first with high bridge placement, the second with the new body shape suggested by Al Esposito of the Carl Fischer Stores, and the third a production model 0-18T with wider upper bout.






The Martin tenor guitar first appeared with a 12 fret shaped size 5 body in 1927.  


In 1929 the size 0 tenor appeared in several trim levels.  The Plectrum Guitar appeared in 1930, mostly as a 000-18.



As the hugely popular banjo was beginning to wane, players were looking for a substitute, so manufacturers were wanting to supply a guitar with the longer 4 string neck banjo players were accustomed to, which allowed easier access to the higher frets.


Martin's first attempt to build a guitar with 14 frets clear of the body, to provide greater access to the upper frets, was achieved by attaching the neck of the Martin tenor guitar at the 14th fret, and moving the bridge upwards to compensate.   This bridge placement, however, proved less than ideal.

By late 1929, Al Esposito of the Carl Fischer stores suggested an alternative, special ordering a tenor guitar called the Carl Fischer Model, with a shortened upper bout with14 frets clear.





1930 Martin Carl Fischer Model with 1930 Martin O-18T



By early 1930, the Carl Fischer Model had been made available to Martins other customers, and the Fischer Model name was dropped.  The 0-18 that followed had a flatter and wider upper bout.
  By 1931, the straight bridge of the 0-18T was replaced by a belly bridge.




Long neck
14 fret Martin 1928 2-18TL, 1930 Martin Carl Fischer Model, 1930 0-18T with wider and less round upper bout, and 1931 Martin 0-18T with belly bridge.


Soon after the Carl Fischer Model was developed, Perry Bechtel of the Cable Piano Company, upon visiting the Martin factory and seeing the Carl Fischer Model, requested a fourteen fret clear six string guitar, and the Orchestra Model was born.  The OM-28 was soon followed by the OM-18 and the OM-18P Plectrum Guitar appeared in 1930. 

In 1931 Martin added a handful of plectrum guitars in the C-1 and C-2 roundhole archtop styles.  By the end of 1931, Martin had built it's last Plectrum Guitar.




The Carl Fischer Model tenor guitar was followed by the Orchestra Model, a six string guitar built for the Cable Music Company, which borrowed the design concept of the altered body shape and 14 fret neck.

The earliest OM guitar also had a slightly more rounded upper bout, but the difference is not nearly as pronounced.

The banjo player's preference for a longer 4 string neck also led to the introduction of the long necked four string plectrum guitar.

By 1931, the straight bridge was replaced by a "belly" bridge.






Early 14 fret clear body OM-28, OM-18P plectrum guitar, and 0-18T tenor guitar.


The Carl Fischer Model did not contain a label, stamp, or other specific designation for the Carl Fischer Stores, and appears to have been made available to other Martin dealers
relatively soon after introduction, while still referred to by Martin as the Carl Fischer Model.
 



Martin 1929 0-18 Special Tenor Carl Fischer Model Guitar

Serial number 40501

Stamped November 27, 1929






Martin 1930 0-18 Special Tenor Carl Fischer Model Guitar

serial number 41046



 


























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