When Taylor Guitars was founded in 1974, its young owners knew little about running a business. Nineteen-year-old Bob Taylor was a self-described "wood-shop nerd," who used the guitars he’d made in high school as his resume for his first guitar-making job at a shop called American Dream. When the owner of that shop decided to sell out, Taylor and two other employees, Kurt Listug and Steve Schemmer, decided to buy it—as it turned out, the sale did not include the rights to the American Dream name, which was a bitter disappointment to the green businessmen.

That first year, the young entrepreneurs managed to make six guitars. By 1975, Taylor Guitars had made 36 instruments, including the 810, a six-string, rosewood dreadnought with the company’s trademark mustache-shaped bridge. Serial numbers that year began with the number 10, to denote the firm’s first full year in business. Output jumped to 168 instruments in 1976 (with serial numbers beginning with the number 20), but Taylor Guitars was struggling to make ends meet. One of its most pressing worries was the money due for a batch of Indian rosewood it had purchased from none other than Martin guitars.

But despite such concerns, 1976 was also the year of the company’s first big break. That came when McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica agreed to carry the Taylor line. The next year, Taylor came out with its 700 series guitars (they were less expensive and featured less abalone inlay than the 800s), as well as a new 900 line (a pricey, bird’s-eye maple guitar). Collectors will note that serial numbers on Taylor guitars made in 1977 do not begin with the number 30 because in 1977, the year-by-year numbering system was discarded.

In 1978, Taylor introduced two more affordable guitar lines, the 500s and 600s, both of which had mahogany bodies. Then lightning struck when Neil Young, vacationing in Florida, purchased a Taylor 12-string, an 855, at a local music shop. Young liked his 855 so much he ordered a second. Taylor Guitars subsequently gained widespread recognition when Young’s 855 figured prominently in his concert film, "Rust Never Sleeps." To this day, Young still performs with his vintage Taylors, which may explain why Bob Taylor has only one artist’s photo on his office’s wall—Neil Young’s.

Today, Taylor guitars are played by an incredibly diverse lineup of artists, from k.d. lang to Prince to Bonnie Raitt. In addition to six- and 12-string dreadnoughts and jumbos, the company also makes a line of smaller Baby Taylor and Big Baby guitars, several acoustic/electric models (the T5 has earned rave reviews), and it even has a line of solid-body electrics.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Guitars Info

Vintage Guitars Info

This great reference site features detailed sections on vintage guitar makers, including Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gr… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Want to see all the old brochures and ads for your favorite vintage axe? Check out this great site, which showcases… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Taylor 12 String Acoustic Guitar 150e * Wow Free Shipping * #6Taylor Gs - E Acoustic GuitarTaylor Gs8e Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor 410 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - 1993 - Players Condition - No ReserveTaylor 214ce-sb Dlx Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor 710 Nice Acoustic/electric Indian Rosewood Dreadnought Guitar! Nice Tone! Taylor 314ce Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic-electric Guitar Lefty LhTaylor Guitars 918e Grand Orchestra Acoustic Electric W Hard Case, No ReserveTaylor 314ce GuitarTaylor 214 6 String Acoustic Rosewood Guitar W/ Taylor Hard Case ~ No Reserve ~Taylor 310ce Acoustic/electric Guitar With Hardshell Case Luthier Repair1997 Taylor 614c Acoustic GuitarTaylor 514-ce Acoustic Electric Guitar In Good Condition With Hard CaseTaylor Bto Custom 12 FretTaylor 814ce Acoustic/electric Guitar W/ Original Taylor Case 1978 Taylor 815 GuitarTaylor 12 String Guitar 856ce2008 Taylor Custom Jumbo All Mahogany! W/ohsc Bto?2004 Taylor Big Baby Acoustic GuitarTaylor Taylor Swift Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar With CaseTaylor 2014 Gs Mini Holden Village Limited Edition Maple. Excellent. No Reserve!Taylor Baby Big Baby Acoustic Guitar - Great Condition - Barely UsedBaby Taylor Guitar Model 305 (no Reserve)Taylor Big Baby Model Bbt 6 String Acoustic GuitarTaylor 526ce Acoustic/electric Guitar ( All Mahogany) Taylor 410ce 2003 Acoustic/electric Dreadnought Guitar NaturalTaylor Dreadnought 110 Acoustic Electric GuitarLeft-handed Taylor Big Baby Bbt Acoustic Guitar 15/16 Dreadnought, Gig Bag StandTaylor Baby Bt2 Acoustic GuitarTaylor Swift Baby Guitar With Autograph Ts-btTaylor 314ce-n Sapele/spruce Nylon String Grand Auditorium A/e Guitar McTaylor 114ceTaylor Acoustic Electric GuitarElectric Guitar Bass Stickers Martin Dean Taylor Kala Cordoba Prs Picks RandallTaylor T5 Acoustic/elegtric GuitarTaylor Guitar Acoustic ElectricTaylor Jumbo Deluxe Guitar Case (300-115), MintTaylor T5-c1Taylor Acoustic Electric Guitar Head Stock Stickers Pair Of Used Broken Acoustic Bridges Gibson And Taylor Glued Up For Template Use