Gibson Musical Instruments was founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson. Gibson started off by making mandolins and later they started making guitars. In 1982 Gibson bought the Flatiron Mandolin Company because they made excellent mandolins. After Gibson bought this company, all mandolin making was moved from Nashville, TN to Bozeman. It didn’t take long before the world noticed how well this small group of skilled workers could make mandolins.
Gibson’s new management team thought it was a good idea to start making acoustic guitars again. They thought Bozeman could be the place to bring back acoustic guitars since they hadn’t been doing well in stores. So in 199 Gibson moved all acoustic guitar making to Bozeman and mandolin making was moved out. The Gibson Guitar plant here in Bozeman employs about 140 people who are amazing craftsmen and love the art of making beautiful guitars.
Gibson Guitars of Bozeman is the only division of Gibson Musical Instruments that makes acoustic guitars. Many of the machines used today in Bozeman were built by Gibson many decades ago. Bozeman’s guitar factory makes a variety of different guitars every day, and not just the same guitars over and over. Gibson Guitars of Bozeman produces more than 70 guitars a day. It can take around 11-1/2 hours to make a guitar and the average cost of a Gibson guitar is $3-5,000. The demand for Gibson guitars is worldwide.