The Gibson Guitar Corporation is a Nashville, Tennessee-based guitar and instrument manufacturer. It was founded in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan by Orville Gibson as "The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd." and was a maker of mandolin instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by using the same type of carved, arched tops found on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. It was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments in 1944, which was then acquired by the E.C.L. conglomerate that changed its name to Norlin Inc. This was seen as the beginning of an era of mismanagement.
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