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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Tex Williams: 1953

Tex Williams: 1953

Los Angeles circa 1953. "Tex Williams, host of Town Hall Party on KNBH-TV." The country singer known for "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)." 4x5 acetate negative from the Shorpy Publicity Department archive. View full size.

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Must Be the Smoke...Sniff

I am not ashamed to say that Jim Page's comment made me tear up a bit. My dad did smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette but he also play, play, played a 1943 Martin. He's gone but the guitar is currently in the hands of a Martin-certified craftsman being senstively refurbished after being abused by someone who never should have had their hands on it. It won't be the same but it will be returned to playing form and gifted to a deserving grandchild.

Old Martins

MacKinzie, you are indeed lucky to have your Martin. An instrument like that instructs the player, in my opinion. I can only imagine how sweet it sounds. I think the 0-sized Martins are the best-sounding of them all. They may not boom like a dreadnought, but they caress the ear.

My best friend for over 40 years developed a terrible medical problem, and his wife and sister told me they were afraid he was giving up. I sent him my 1953 0-18 with this note: "My most cherished friend now owns my most cherished guitar. I can find another best guitar, but not another best friend. Now get out of bed, play this thing, and beat that problem of yours."

He did, and he did, and he did. That was over five years ago, and he's still playing that little Martin, which is on a stand in his bedroom. He keeps it there, he says, so it's the last thing he sees at night and the first thing he sees in the morning.

Are some Martins more than just a guitar? I think so.

Martin-the best.

Thank you, Paul A and Mr. Page, for your knowledge and appreciation of Martin guitars. I have an O-17 (given to my mother, new, in 1937)which I have played (not well) most all my life, And, gentlemen, it just rings like a bell. I am one lucky dude.

Sheet metal reverb

I wonder if those steel cupboards sang along?

Thanks Mr. Page. I was wracking my brain as to why those tuner buttons looked so familiar. These Martins are so timeless that Martin keeps rereleasing older designs. I currently have a two-year-old D18 (1935 design) with a 32 bit d-a, 10 microphone emulator pickup.

Tex's tuners

Tex's lovely Martin D-28 seems to have replacement tuners. Those Deluxe Klusons were more often seen on Gibson guitars; Martin usually used Klusons with metal buttons.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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