Leo Fender, George Fullerton, Freddie Tavares Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar designed 1954, this example 1957

  • Not on view

The Stratocaster, Fender's flagship electric guitar,was designed "to become part of the player" with an ergonomic "comfort-contoured" body, a recessed jack to keep amplifier cables out of the way, volume and tone knobs positioned for easy adjustment while playing, and deep double cutouts for better neck access. Its original technical features included three pickups for a bright, glassy sound and a Fender-patented tremolo arm ("whammy bar"). The Stratocaster's user-friendly design and unique sound set an iconic new standard for electric guitar design and performance.

Gallery label from Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye, November 15, 2014–January 17, 2016.
Wood, metal, and plastic
38 x 12 3/4 x 1 3/4" (96.5 x 32.4 x 4.4 cm)
Committee on Architecture and Design Funds
Object number
Architecture and Design

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