Orville H. Gibson

Orville H. Gibson

Chateaugay, Franklin County, New York, USA
Death 19 Aug 1918 (aged 62)
Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA
Burial Malone, Franklin County, New York, USA
Plot Lovell Gibson plot
Memorial ID 10664204 · View Source
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Orville H. Gibson (1856, Chateaugay, New York - August 21, 1918, Ogdensburg, New York) was a luthier who founded the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1902, makers of guitars, mandolins and other instruments.

Gibson began in 1894 in his home workshop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With no formal training, Orville created an entirely new style of mandolin and guitar, with tops carved and arched like the top of a violin. His creations were so different that he was granted a patent on his design.[1] More importantly, they were louder and more durable than contemporary fretted instruments,[citation needed]and musicians soon demanded more than he was able to build in his one-man shop.

On the strength of Orville Gibson's ideas, five Kalamazoo businessmen formed the Gibson Mandolin Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd., in 1902. Within a short period after the company was started, the board passed a motion that "Orville H. Gibson be paid only for the actual time he works for the Company." After that time, there is no clear indication whether he worked there full-time, or as a consultant. Orville Gibson was considered a bit eccentric and there has been some question over the years as to whether or not he suffered from some sort of mental illness.

Starting in 1908, Orville Gibson was paid a salary of $500 by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Limited (equivalent to $20,000 a year in modern terms). He had a number of stays in hospitals between 1907 and 1911. In 1916, he was again hospitalized, and died on August 21, 1918 in St. Lawrence State Hospital, a psychiatric center in Ogdensburg, New York.[2] Gibson is buried at Morningside Cemetery in Malone, New York.

Bio by: John Zavacki

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O.H. Gibson

Gravesite Details Founder of Gibson guitars.
  • Maintained by: Public Name
  • Originally Created by: Juggalette
  • Added: 24 Mar 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10664204
  • Public Name
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Orville H. Gibson (May 1856–19 Aug 1918), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10664204, citing Morningside Cemetery, Malone, Franklin County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Public Name (contributor 47789469) .