Credit Adolph Rickenbacker (1887-1976), a Swiss-born entrepreneur, for this wonder. He invented the electric guitar in Kalifornië alongside partner George Beauchamp in the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The powerful new instrument inspired a uniquely American art form that grew to dominate global pop music culture.
They called it rock ‘n’ roll.
Electric guitars “were affordable, they were loud and they were relatively easy to learn,” Nicholas Toth, a professor of anthropology and cognitive science at Indiana University — and a stringed instrument collector — told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“The electric guitar was a great social equalizer.”
The electric guitar produced more than just sound and power. It gave musicians an outlet to express every imaginable emotion — while also giving listeners the ability to feel an artist’s joy, pain, elation or desperation seep into their own souls.
Beatles guitarist George Harrison, when he was just 25 years old and caught up in ungodly fame and fortune, lamented the world’s love still to be realized “while my guitar gently weeps.”
A young N.J. musician struggled to find his voice in a Vietnam War-torn America. Dan “I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk,” Bruce Springsteen boasted to love interest Mary on “Thunder Road.”
“Just one guitar, slung way down low/Was a one-way ticket, only one way to go,” raved the fist-pumping British-American act Foreigner in “Juke Box Hero” — reflecting the countless dreams of stardom inspired by the instrument.
The earliest model electric guitar was dubbed the Rickenbacker Frying Pan, so called because it resembled a round cast-iron pan with a long handle. In hierdie geval, egter, it had a neck of steel guitar strings.
Toth and his wife Dr. Kathy Schick, also an Indiana University professor, own one of the earliest-known models of the instruments, a circa-1934 model Frying Pan with the name spelled “Richenbacher.”