35 New Jersey Firsts – #20 – First Solid Body Electric Guitar

by Alice Magdziak • June 13, 2014 • Third StateComments (0)2917

It’s the weekend, time to rock and roll!  We can rock harder thanks to Les Paul and his solid body electric guitar.

New Jersey officially recognizes 1664 as the year the state was founded when land owned by the Duke of York was given to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. That transaction record proclaimed that “said Tract of Land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Cesarea or New Jersey.” That makes this year New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary! To celebrate this major milestone, we’ve undertaken a project we’re calling 35 New Jersey Firsts where we highlight 35 things that first came to life in New Jersey.

photo credit: smithsonian.org

photo credit: smithsonian.org

The first solid body electric guitar was invented by Les Paul of Mahwah in 1940. He designed a functionally solid body electric guitar from an Epiphone acoustic archtop. He called the guitar a “log guitar” because it was a 4×4 post with a neck attached.  He attached pickups and hardware and added a detachable body which didn’t contribute to the sound at all.

[via Wikipedia]

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