Claude must have been so proud of this beautiful instrument. It was manufactured by the Gretsch Manufacturing Company. In 1883, Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant, established The Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Company. The small musical shop was located in Brooklyn, New York, and produced drums, banjos, tambourines, and other popular instruments.
Fred Gretsch, Jr. was born in 1905. He took over the company at the age of 15, upon the death of his father. He graduated from Cornell in 1926. During the 1930's through the early 1940's, Fred Jr. patented and registered most of the Gretsch's progressive guitar, drum and banjo innovations.
In 1985 Fred W. Gretsch, the great grandson of Friedrich, assumed presidency of the company and under his leadership, they began to offer new vintage styled guitars and classic drums and once again the company became a huge success.