Washburn History

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The History of Washburn Guitars

With roots going back before the Civil War, Washburn began as a partnership between George Washburn Lyon and Patrick Healy. Formed in Chicago, Illinois, Washburn has been building stringed instruments since 1883. An American institution, Washburn has built guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and more throughout the years. Many of the biggest names in folk, rock, and blues have played Washburn and some of the most significant trendsetting music has been played on a Washburn. From early blues, to the inspiration behind the MTV Unplugged revival, to the modern day, Washburn has been a choice amongst the songsmiths of the day.

130 years of history is at the root of our strong foundation building high quality instruments. It is this background that inspires us to create instruments for you and we hope you experience the exceptional value, playability and voice that is Washburn. On this Website, we encourage you to explore the Washburn line of fine instruments. We are sure you can find a musical partner in a Washburn, be it the historically significant Lakeside and DeLuxe, the quintessential acoustic-electric Festival, the luthier inspired Comfort, or our extensive variety of Americana models

Though our roots are firmly planted through providing some of history's most well known, best valued and best selling acoustic and Americana instruments, your dreams have remained an important part of fulfilling our mission- to provide you with the perfect tool to achieve them. From the first Washburn electric built in 1976, everyone from beginners taking their first step into the bright stage lights to seasoned professionals commanding the attention of thousands of screaming fans have found a home here at Washburn. From rock, metal, country, bluegrass and jazz, there is a Washburn electric guitar that will fit you and your style perfectly and grow with you as you develop your style and technique.

We have a legacy of famous and talented artists who have helped shape the soundscape of today's modern music, from Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese with Heart, to the rise of hard rock's and metal's glory years with Rudy Sarzo and Nuno Bettencourt- who is celebrating 25 years with us; through the grunge years where icons like Dimebag Darrel kept guitar solos alive until passing the torch to Ola Englund and Marzi Montazeri. The list goes on and is growing everyday. Whether you strive to join that list, or are happy to push your "likes" on YouTube, or just want to have some fun with family and friends in the basement or backyard- we have the perfect fit for you no matter your taste or skill level.

About Your Washburn Guitar

If you own a Washburn guitar, current or discontinued*, and are looking for information on it, you can simply check here for all of the specs and key information. We currently have listings going back to 1990. The 1980's are currently being archived.

This archive is very simple to use. If you look at the serial number on your guitar, in the sound hole of the acoustic or on the back of the headstock on electrics, you will see that in most cases** the first two numbers of the serial number are the year of manufacture. For example, if your guitar's serial number is 94000000, your guitar was made in 1994.

You can look up the 1994 page, and locate your model number. All of the specs and information such as materials used, list price, scale length, nut width and finish are included.

Archive pages are presented in Adobe Acrobat format. If you don't have the Acrobat Reader program on your computer, go to the Adobe Website now and get it. It's free!

Year of Manufacture:





1996 1995 1994 1993
1992 1991 1990 1989

*Some information was not available for some models. Limited Edition guitars are not listed in the Guitar Archive.

**Some serial numbers have been printed with just a single number to identify the year. If your guitar begins with 240000, it most likely is a 1982 or 1992 model.