Cases For Martin Guitars
I've heard often that Martin guitars were not supplied with cases, and
purchasers bought their Martin guitars with whatever cases were
available from the dealer, sourced from independent suppliers.
In truth, Martin has sold cases and listed them in their catalogues since the 1920's.
In the earliest years, Martin usually shipped guitars to their
distributor in their "Coffin style cases, and many of these cases are
still affixed with remnants of shipping labels and wax seals.
Around the turn of the century, coffin cases were replaced with hand
tooled leather cases, or canvas cases for the less expensive models.
Starting in the 1920's, cases became an option listed in Martin's
price lists, with Martin usually offering a choice of one or two
quality levels of hard shell cases, and one soft shell case in each
With the switch to moulded plastic cases, Martin began including the case in the purchase price of the guitar.
Here's the tag that came with the hard shell Martin case I purchased for my 00-21NY in the late 1960's:
Here's a copy of the Martin price list of 1965, showing prices for the various cases offered:
Martin price lists through 1926 do not include a case...
Beginning in the late 1920's, price lists included four styles of cases, including the canvas "end loader"...
In the late '30's, the canvas case was no longer offered, and the materials changed...
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