CHAPTER 6: Education Instead of Sales

The growth of C. F. Martin and Co. was slowed somewhat by Frank Martin's decision to invest in a college education for his two sons, rather than in an expanded sales force for the company. A self-taught scholar who placed a high value on learning, Martin felt that a fine education for his sons would be in the best interests of the company on a long-term basis. Thus, Christian Frederick Martin III enrolled at Princeton University in 1912 and was joined there the following year by his brother, Herbert Keller Martin.

Recalling his father, Christian Frederick III says, "He was a remarkable man. He worked long hours all of his life in the guitar business. Yet, with little formal education, he was extraordinarily well read, with a thorough knowledge of Greek and Latin."

Upon graduation from Princeton in 1916, Christian Frederick III entertained the idea of attending the graduate school of business administration at Harvard University. "I had ambitions at the time of getting away from the family business," he recalls. "But my brother was still in college and my father needed help managing things, so I came home and went to work making guitars on what I thought would be a part-time basis." What started out as a temporary situation for Christian Frederick evolved into a life-long vocation.

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