The Gibson Guitar Corporation was founded by Orville Gibson, who made mandolins in Kalamazoo, in the late 1890s. By the 1930s Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars.
During the 50s and 60s under the presidency of Ted McCarty Gibson greatly expanded its line of instruments. In 1950, Gibson decided to make a solid-body guitar of its own according to its own design philosophy, designed by the guitarist Les Paul, it was released as his signature model in 1952. The Les Paul became very popular with rock and roll and blues guitar players such as Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Peter Green.
In 1958, Gibson produced two new designs: the eccentrically-shaped Explorer and Flying V, although it was only in the late 1960s and early 70s when the two guitars were reintroduced to the market that they sold very well.