CHAPTER 3: Guitars for Wine

Accepted business practices in the early days of Martin's retail and manufacturing operation were far removed from today's methods and reflected a simpler society. Barter was common in the retail trade. C. F. Martin's personal records contain numerous entries of trading musical merchandise for everything from a case of wine to children's clothing. New York City's teeming Lower East Side was a harsh environment that was a world apart from the pastoral Saxony where Martin and his family grew up. Correspondence between Martin and his close friend and business associate, Henry Schatz, revealed that he never felt truly at home in New York and longed to move. In 1836, Schatz moved to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, purchasing a 55-acre tract near Nazareth. When C. F. Martin's wife paid a visit to Schatz and his family, she developed an instant affinity for the tranquil Pennsylvania countryside. Upon returning to New York, she exerted what must have been considerable influence and prompted her husband to make the big move to Nazareth. Thus, in 1838, Martin sold his retail store to another music dealer by the name of Ludecus and Wolter and purchased an eight-acre tract on the outskirts of Nazareth. He had obviously found what he wanted, for he spent the remainder of his life there.

The following years were a period of significant development for C. F. Martin and Company guitar makers. In addition to products sold by Ludecus and Wolter in New York, company records indicate that numerous shipments were made to the then centers of trade, which were primarily shipping posts and those cities served by the canal system, since the railroad had yet to evolve. Martin's shipping records made frequent mention of sales in Boston, Albany, Philadelphia, Richmond, Petersburg, Nashville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and New Orleans. Business in the period was obviously satisfactory, for in an advertisement in 1850 the company declared, "C. F. Martin, Guitar Maker, respectfully informs the musical public generally that the great favor bestowed upon him has induced him to enlarge his factory, in order to supply the increasing demand for his instruments."

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