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The Fender story begins over 70 years ago in a small Fullerton, California workshop. A radio repairman by trade and inventor at heart, Leo Fender made the transition to musical instruments by default, tinkering with his friends’ faulty amps. In 1943, he teamed up with local musician and inventor Doc Kaufmann and formed K&F Manufacturing Corp. When the two parted ways a few years later, Fender continued working under his own name, developing the original Princeton, Deluxe and Professional amps in 1946.
But Leo Fender’s legacy didn’t end there. Now fully immersed in the music world, Fender delved deeper into guitars, developing the prototype for a new solidbody alternative to the hollowbody electric favored by swing artists of the day. In 1951, he introduced the guitar he named the Telecaster (originally named the Broadcaster). That same year, Fender introduced another invention, the Precision Bass®.
In 1954, following the success of the Telecaster, Fender unveiled a guitar that would set the standard for generations to come: the Stratocaster, the world’s most influent guitar. The guitar’s contoured body and double cutaway design provided greater comfort and playability, making it easier to access the higher frets and explore a new range of sounds.
Leo Fender remained a creative force over the next decade, introducing many classic instrument and amplifier designs, including the Jazz Bass®, the Jaguar® and Jazzmaster® guitars and the Twin Reverb® amplifier.