Extended Hours for Fall Break Fun!

FCMoD is open EXTRA days during Fall Break this year, and we can’t wait! If you’re looking for things to do in Fort Collins, plan your visit to FCMoD and enjoy fun for everyone! We’re open every day during the week of Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Thursday, November 24th.

Here are some tips for your upcoming visit:

Earth Matters Special Exhibition – Build an insect hotel! Ride a bike to power a city! These are just a few ways that Earth Matters inspires visitors to rethink the world around them. Immerse yourself in thought-provoking scientific topics about our changing planet such as biodiversity, rising global temperatures, and issues around carbon emissions. Explore this STEM-based, family-friendly exhibit now through Sunday, January 8th. Don’t forget, members receive free admission to the exhibit!

Pop-Up Floor Programming – Join us in the main gallery for programs that rock as hard as you do! From Foley art to the science of sound, there’s something for everyone! Programs are included in general admission and free for members. Check out the schedule in our museum calendar!

Meet the Animals – On Saturday, November 26th, join us in Animal Encounters and discover some amazing creatures we share this planet with. Animals of all kinds from creepy crawlies, wet and slimy, to soft and furry. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a new animal friend! Free for members and included in general admission ticket.

OtterBox Digital Dome – A visit to the museum isn’t complete without a visit to the Dome! Featuring a gigantic 39-foot diameter dome screen, adventurers of all ages will be wowed by the Dome’s state-of-the-art digital projection systems and booming surround sound.

Now showing in the Dome: CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story, Dream to Fly, Explore, Prince 360, One World, One Sky: Big Birds’ Adventure, Let it Snow! (starting 11/25)

Special Spanish-language shows: Un Cielo, Un Mundo. La Aventura de Big Bird y CAPCOM Go: La Historia del Programa Apolo

Check out the schedule here!

Archive and Collections (Free Zone) – Dive into local history by visiting FCMoD’s robust Archive and Collections! Free and open to the public, visitors can either take advantage of walk-in hours Tuesday through Saturday, 10-1, or schedule an appointment Tuesday – Friday, from 10-4. Can’t make it in? Check out the online archive here, which grows daily!

The Museum Store (Free Zone) – Shop small this holiday season! All purchases at The Museum Store support FCMoD’s mission to create meaningful opportunities to learn, reflect, and have fun. From jewelry crafted by local artists, to books for children and adults, to toys and other curiosities, there is something for everyone at The Museum Store!

The Museum Café (Free Zone) – From pastries and coffee to jump start your day, to a variety of casual lunch bites, The Museum Café is here to fuel your discovery!

Membership – Membership is the best way to experience all that FCMoD has to offer! Not only do you receive free general admission for a year, but you also enjoy exclusive discounts, events invitations, and more! Plus, membership makes the perfect holiday gift. (Check your email on Monday, November 28th for a very special offer!)

Continue Reading

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Turns 10!

On November 10, 2012, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery opened its doors for the very first time. Fast forward 10 years and nearly 1 million visitors later, and WOW have we had fun! We’re proud of what these ten years have meant to FCMoD and the community, so we’ve planned a year of celebrations that kicks off with a very special 10th Birthday Party on Saturday, November 12.

Join us for a FREE, fun-filled day of celebrations!
Saturday, November 12, 2022
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Free Entry
Free admission presented by Elevations Credit Union

  • Face painting from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • A fun photo booth to take memories home with you from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Live music from 12 – 4 p.m. with Miranda Fling, Mariachi Voces Mexicanas, Teddy Creal, and Corinthian
  • Special Animal Experiences and more from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Solar scope viewings with the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society
  • Movies and films in The OtterBox Digital Dome throughout the day
  • Special giveaways to the first 300 visitors!
  • And more to be announced!

Ten years of science exploration. Ten years of discovering history. Ten years of curiosity and learning. Ten years of creating memories… And we’re only just beginning! A special and heartfelt thank you to YOU for your continued love and support for the museum over the years. We can’t wait to see you this year during our many celebrations!

Sign up for our newsletter to receive special 10th anniversary updates, directly in your inbox.


FCMoD’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations are generously supported by:

Additional support provided by:
Bohemian Foundation
Fiona’s Catering
Nordson Corporate Foundation

Continue Reading

Spring Break Pop Up Programming

Spring Break begins March 14 for much of our community, with Poudre School District and Thompson School District earning some well-deserved time off. We will keep the learning and connections going, and are offering up a host of activities each day. As a reminder, the museum is opening Monday at 10 a.m. and has these activities planned throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 15 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Meet the Animals:
Join us in our Animal Encounters area and meet Slinky the Ball Python, the amazing regeneration ability of Leopard Geckos, and many more jaw dropping facts that make the animal kingdom so darn amazing. 

Wednesday, March 16 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Foley Art:
Sound plays a huge part in the film industry. Come explore how sounds are created and added to films to make them come alive. Join us on the gallery floor to learn about key moments in the sound effects industry, iconic sounds and how they are made such as a lightsaber, T-Rex roar, and much more!

Thursday, March 17 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Instrument Tryouts:
Come discover the joy of making music! Pick up a banjo and pluck out a tune to jig to. Try your hand at strumming the guitar or even a ukulele. Explore a wide selection of instruments to satisfy your musical ear. 

Friday, March 18 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Meet the Animals:
Join us in our Animal Encounters area and meet Slinky the Ball Python, the amazing regeneration ability of Leopard Geckos, and many more jaw dropping facts that make the animal kingdom so darn amazing.

Saturday, March 19 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Art Creation:
Creating art is a fantastic way to lower stress, refine motor skills, and simply to pass a windy rainy day. Come design and make your very own button, color a bookmark and take a free book home (special shoutout to the Poudre River Public Library for donating the books), or just stay a while and do some coloring pages. 

Continue Reading

Spring Break At The Museum. Come Discover Something Awesome.

Spring Break At The Museum

In case you are looking for a way to keep the learning and discovery going during Spring Break, we are excited to share we are open for ALL of Spring Break week. Typically, we are closed on Mondays, but we’re open Monday, March 14 for students, staff, and all community alike.

Spring Break takes place March 14 – March 18 for Poudre School District and Thompson School District.

Our current schedule of hours is from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday, with select Mondays to serve the community.

For a list of our community events, head to our calendar – with new events being added often.

View the lineup for pop up programming we have going on during Spring Break.

Continue Reading

“Music Therapy! What’s that?!”

Tune In For Music Therapy

Clap along if you feel like you know what MT’s do. Someday, people will know what a music therapist actually does. Scratch that! TODAY is the day!

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is defined as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapy, an established health profession, uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs in an individual and group setting. Music therapy can be used across the lifespan of those with varying diagnoses. In short, music therapists use music to help individuals work on non-musical goals. (Image: Northwestern University, 2018)

Oh, Oh It’s Magic…

There is a difference between music AS therapy and music IN therapy. Music AS therapy is a broad use of music to appeal to a wide range of behaviors, emotions, and well-being. Music used AS therapy is not directed at a specific outcome, and it is frequently used by those who consider themselves music therapists but have not been formally trained. Music IN therapy is music used to achieve a specific goal or set of goals. Music IN therapy consists of different techniques based on the best evidence available. Those that use music IN therapy are highly trained both in music and in therapeutic techniques. Until the middle of the 20th century most music therapy practice followed the music AS therapy model. It has only been in the past 60 or 70 years ago that we see more attention paid to music IN therapy.

(Ali Blackwood Illustration)

Follow the yellow brick road….for a degree in music therapy

         (Image: AMTA website)

Music therapists that receive a bachelor’s degree or higher, have to complete an approved program at a university or college, including a clinical internship of 1200 hours. Then they are allowed to become credentialed (Music Therapist-Board Certified) through the Certification Board of Music Therapists. Music therapists not only study music, but they also study psychology and medicine. The music therapy field is an evidence-based profession with a foundation in research. Music therapists don’t simply play songs for people or play music in the background. Music therapists complete a full assessment to determine individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, develop non-musical goals and objectives, create a treatment plan that can help with the transfer of skills to their daily lives, and continue to evaluate the needs and progress of each client through the entirety of the therapeutic process.

Where, oh where can you find an MT? At 35+ settings!

  • Medical facilities
    • General hospital settings
    • Hospice
    • Oncology
    • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Home health agencies
    • Out-patient clinics
    • Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities
    • Partial hospitalization
    • Children’s hospitals or units
  • Geriatric facilities
    • Adult day care
    • Assisted living
    • Geriatric facilities (not nursing)
    • Geriatric psychiatric units
    • Nursing homes
  • Developmental centers
    • Group homes
    • Intermediate care facilities
    • Community day treatment programs
    • State institutions
  • Educational facilities
    • Children’s day care/preschool settings
    • Early intervention programs
    • Schools (K-12)
  • Mental health settings
    • Child and adolescent treatment centers
    • Psychiatric hospitals
    • Community mental health centers
    • Substance abuse programs
    • Forensic facilities
    • Inpatient psychiatric units
  • Private practice settings
    • Music therapy clinics
    • Clients’ homes
    • Providing contract services in any facilities previously listed
  • Other settings
    • Diagnosis-specific support groups
    • Wellness and prevention programs
    • Work in music retailer setting

Benefits of music therapy…let me count the ways…

Music therapists can work with individuals who have a variety of needs that could include medical, learning and academic, mental health, rehabilitation, developmental, communication, or wellness. The populations in which music therapists work with range from premature infants to older adults. There are numerous ways music therapy has been found to address the needs of those in an individual or group setting. The areas include, but are not limited to:

  1. Labor and Delivery – relaxation; support of birthing process
  2. Premature Infants – improved feeding behavior and weight gain
  3. Neurological Disorders & Brain Injury – protocols that activate neurological responses in support of cognitive, motor, communication, and social objectives
  4. Chronic Illness & Oncology – music + coping techniques to assist with pain management and stress reduction
  5. Mental Health – provided opportunities to explore and process therapeutic issues
  6. Medical and Surgical Tests/Procedures – reduce anxiety and improve treatment response
  7. Healthy aging & Optimum Performance – provide music programs based on theories of personal growth, awareness, and learning
  8. Developmental Disabilities & Autism Spectrum – teach cognitive, motor, social, communication, and daily living skills
  9. Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders – use introspective techniques such as songwriting and lyric analysis to aid clients’ transition from denial to determination in recovery process
  10. Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairments – music incorporated into rehabilitative treatment to allow frustration to yield to fulfillment
  11. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia – access individuals’ past to trigger short- and long-term memory, decrease agitation, and enhance reality orientation
  12. Hospice and Bereavement – help guide individual and/or loved ones in life’s processes

                                                               

              (Image: Kora Leith Blog)

Continue Reading

#ArchivesBlackEducation

#ArchivesBlackEducation

Every month Fort Collins Museum of Discovery participates in a themed #ArchivesHashtagParty on Twitter. This month’s theme is #ArchivesBlackEducation in honor of Black History Month.

What is an #ArchivesHashtagParty you ask? That’s a great question! This article from the New York Times, The Record Keepers’ Rave, helps explain just that. Started by The National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, participating archives, museums, and libraries tune in to share a treasure trove of photos, stories, collections, and more.

For #ArchivesBlackEducation, the museum shared the following on Twitter (@focomod) of our local history from the Archive & Collections at FCMoD.

Let’s get started, shall we?

This #ArchivesHashtagParty we’re exploring local African American history with #ArchivesBlackEducation. Pictured here is Ella Mae Cook, Fort Collins Resident from about 1931 to 1944.

Grafton St. Clair Norman was the first Black student to attend and graduate from CSU, then Colorado Agricultural College. He became the 2nd lieutenant in the Army and teacher in Kentucky. This photo appeared in the 1896 CAC yearbook.

Charley Clay arrived in Colorado in 1864. By the early 1900s, the Clay home was a center of Black social life in Larimer County, hosting groups such as the local chapter of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Literary Society.

William Clay, son of Charley Clay, served with the Fort Collins Volunteer Fire Department in the 1890s and was a member of the State Champion Hose Team in 1897.

As a child, Academy Award winning film star Hattie McDaniel briefly lived in this home on Cherry Street in Fort Collins and attended Franklin School. She would later move to Denver on her way to Hollywood.

In March of 1939, Mattie Lyle sued the owner of the State Theater in Fort Collins for discrimination and won damager. Her daughter Joyce, pictured here, served as a witness to her mother’s testimony.

During the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, Charles and Mamie Birdwhitle’s home on Oak Street in Fort Collins was a gathering spot for Black gospel groups, jazz orchestras, and scholars visiting Northern Colorado.

Virgil Thomas was a star left tackle – and the only Black player – for the Fort Collins High School Lambkins in the late 1930s.

In 1969, members of the Mexican-American Committee for Equality & the Black Student Assn. demanded more recruitment of minority students and faculty. Shown here is a protest they held at the home of college president William Morgan.

That wraps up this month’s #ArchivesHashtagParty! Explore more Black history with a walking tour from our friends at the Fort Collins History Preservation Department.

Thanks for tuning in! We’ll share next month’s #ArchivesHashtagParty content with you back here on the blog.

Continue Reading

Mindful Mondays: Do Animals Feel Emotion?

Written by Willow Sedam, Animal Husbandry Staff

Mindful Mondays: Do Animals Feel Emotion?

Throughout history, humans have been asking questions about the natural world. But there’s one we keep coming back to with endless curiosity: do animals feel?

The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras was an early ponderer of this very question. A vegetarian, Pythagoras believed that animals and humans had the same souls, and should be treated equally. He was even known for going into markets and purchasing live animals, only to set them free. But Pythagoras’s ideas were controversial – the later philosopher Aristotle created his own theory, a ranked view of nature that put humans at the top and the lesser, “irrational” animals below them. For Aristotle, and many thinkers who followed in his footsteps, the idea of animals having souls or feeling pain, let alone emotion, was a strange one.

 

But is it really that odd to imagine that animals might feel emotions like we do?

 

After all, it’s not hard to find instances of animal behavior that appear to be driven by emotion. Take your dog to the vet or start up the vacuum cleaner around him, and you’ll see a response that looks a lot like anxiety, fear, or even anger. If animals appear to feel negative emotions, couldn’t they feel positive ones as well? Might they feel a similarly wide range of emotions to ours?

Elephants and whales have both been observed behaving unusually around dead herd members, guarding the bodies of fallen friends for days, or carrying deceased calves with them for miles. And great apes have even been able to communicate their own emotions to researchers. Koko, a gorilla who had been taught sign language, responded “Bad, sad, bad, frown, cry, frown, sad, trouble” when learning her adopted kitten had died.

Koko with her kitten, photo from the Los Angeles Times

 

It’s no surprise that these animals – some of the smartest in the world – would be able to feel; but it’s not just the big-brained mammals like us who display signs of emotion.

 

Parrots and crows are exceptionally bright birds, and their intelligence seems to extend to the complexity of their emotional lives as well. Crows have been known to form bonds with humans who feed them, and grudges against those they don’t like. They will even bring gifts to humans they like, and teach other crows to attack those they don’t. And parrots can get so bored in captivity that, without anything to occupy their clever brains, they will develop compulsive behaviors similar to neurosis in humans, such as plucking out their own feathers.

Some fish have even been observed to exhibit individual personalities. In a study where new and possibly dangerous things were introduced to a school of fish, some fish would approach aggressively, some curiously, and some would simply hide. Each new item saw the same fish approaching in the same manor – the aggressive one continued to act aggressively, the shy one continued to act shy. Each fish had their own unique temperament!

And let’s not forget invertebrates – those animals without a backbone like insects, worms, and squids. You might not think them very smart or emotionally deep, but you would be doing them a great disservice. Octopuses are renowned for their intelligence, despite their short and solitary lifestyle. Captive octopuses enjoy playing with humans – and will attack ones they don’t like. They’re smart enough to get bored, and smart enough to escape their tanks looking for something more interesting. That’s a lot of complexity for an animal so closely related to slugs.

 

So, problem solved: animals do feel, and they feel quite a lot! …Right?

 

Unfortunately, the scientific jury is still out in this case. While there are plenty of behaviors that we observe in animals that might look like what we think of as emotions, we can’t exactly ask a lizard how it’s feeling. So, we rely on assumptions – assumptions that could be wrong.

The biggest problem we face when trying to answer these questions about animal emotions is called anthropomorphism, the action of projecting human traits onto animals, plants, or even inanimate objects. It’s a bit like seeing faces in clouds – they’re not really there, but we’re so used to looking for them that we conjure them up anyway. While an action or expression might mean one thing to a human, it could mean something completely different to another animal. While humans smile when happy, chimpanzees bare their teeth as a threat display. And while a dog wagging its tail may be excited or happy, a cat wagging its tail is definitely not. It’s easy to misread these behaviors and displays, and easier still to project a human idea of an emotion onto an animal who may experience the world in a vastly different way from us.

 

But just as it is important not to project our own emotions onto animals and their behavior, it’s important, too, to not assume that animals are mindless or emotionless drones. It’s tempting to think that animals experience less than we do – that they don’t feel pain, sorrow, or joy. But nature has proven time and time again that intelligence and emotion come in all shapes and sizes. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to be kind – to your human and non-human neighbors.

 

To stay informed on the latest Mental Health: Mind Matters programs and experiences, visit the Mind Matters webpage and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Don’t forget to tag us in your experiences when you visit the museum to help us #MakeItOk. 

We look forward to welcoming you to FCMoD to experience this amazing exhibit!  

Continue Reading

Mindful Mondays: Animal Enrichment

Written by Willow Sedam, Animal Husbandry Staff

Mindful Mondays: Animal Enrichment

Just like us, animals can get bored. Have you ever been bored stuck inside on a rainy day? Imagine if you lived your entire life in your house –  many animals kept in captivity in zoos, aquariums, and even our own homes do spend their whole lives in one place. And without proper enrichment, animals can get bored quickly!

 

So, what is enrichment?

Behavioral, or environmental, enrichment, is anything that makes an animal’s life more interesting! It could be training a dog to sit and stay, or giving an octopus a complex puzzle to solve. It can be rearranging an animal’s cage for a change of scenery, or introducing new and exciting sounds or scents to them.

 

At the museum, we have our own animals – from black-footed ferrets to tree frogs – who all need enrichment. But enrichment comes in all different shapes and sizes!

Our colony of domesticated fancy rats are smart, omnivorous foragers, and need lots to do to keep their brains working. One day, they might get a new toy or a hiding place like a tunnel or wicker ball in their enclosure. The next, they might get peanuts hidden inside of cardboard tubes that they have to sniff out and chew open to get to. One of the keys to enrichment is variability – if an animal gets the same kind of enrichment at the same time every day or week, the novelty can wear off. Switching up enrichment styles and schedules is as important as the enrichment itself!

 

But enrichment isn’t one size fits all. Every animal is different, and so are the things we give them to keep them interested and excited.

 

The museum’s ornate box turtle, Tara, isn’t very good at sniffing out treats or chewing open cardboard boxes, so her enrichment takes a different form. She gets walks – inside the museum when the weather is cold, and out in the big backyard when it’s warmer. She loves her walks, and spends her outdoors time digging, hunting ants, and finding rocks to carry around in her beak. And even Tara likes treats – though instead of peanuts, she gets mealworms, which she chases down and gobbles up! To figure out what kind of enrichment an animal needs, we have to think about what our animals would be doing in the wild; Tara is actually a Colorado native, so spending time foraging in the Big Backyard is the perfect enrichment activity for her.

But what happens when animals don’t get the enrichment they need? Like us, bored animals can become frustrated, restless, or even depressed. They can get lethargic and low-energy, pick fights with other animals in the same cage, or pace the same path over and over again. Enrichment is important for animals of all shapes and sizes, from lions and tigers to little turtles like Tara.

 

Want to try giving your pet enrichment? There are lots of different ways to, and you might already be doing it without realizing! Training your dog to sit and stay, or playing catch-the-string with your cat are some easy ways to get your pet’s mind and body active. You could also introduce your pets to new (pet-safe) foods, or interesting and novel scents. Or, rearrange their cage, move their bed, and hide their toys in new places around the house. You can even make your own puzzle feeder: take a shallow box, cut holes of various sizes in the top, and sprinkle in some treats. See how your pet thinks through the problem to get to its prize – does it fish the treats out with a paw, shake the box until they fall out, or tear it open to get to the food?

There are tons of different fun enrichment projects you and your pet can work on together – so next time you’re feeling bored, consider designing a new toy for your furry (or slimy, scaly, or feathered) friend. You just might discover that it’s just as enriching for you as it is for them!

 

 

To stay informed on the latest Mental Health: Mind Matters programs and experiences, visit the Mind Matters webpage and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Don’t forget to tag us in your experiences when you visit the museum to help us #MakeItOk. 

We look forward to welcoming you to FCMoD to experience this amazing exhibit!  

Continue Reading

Mindful Mondays: DIY Fidget

Mindful Mondays: DIY Fidget

A fidget is an object that can be fiddled with to expend some energy and help the brain focus on the task at hand! Make your own to help you remain calm in stressful situations, or to help you focus when doing homework or another task!

Supplies:

  • Craft stick or popsicle stick 
  • Chenille stem (any color)
  • 6-8 pony beads
  • Painters tape or washi tape

Instructions:

  1. String the beads on to the chenille stem.
  2. Lay the stem on the craft stick and bend the ends of the stem around the ends of the stick.
  3. Use a piece of tape to attached the chenille stem to the craft stick. Make sure your tape covers the ends of the chenille stem so they don’t poke anyone!
  4. Keep your fidget handy, and use it to keep calm or maintain focus!

 

Each mind matters. Taking care of our mental health is important to all of us – everywhere and always. Learn more by visiting FCMoD’s special exhibition Mental Health: Mind Matters, open through January 10th.

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday to the Grandparent of Guitars – The Fender Esquire!

 The year 2020 marks the 70th birthday of Leo Fender’s first solid-body electric guitar. It was also the first mass-produced electric guitar in history, and laid the initial yellow bricks on the road to Guitar Oz. 

 

In 1946, the Fender Electric Instruments Company was formed in Fullerton, California. Clarence Leonidas Fender had been born in Anaheim in 1909, and at only 37 years old he would start the company that would lay the bedrock for the modern electric guitar. He had opened his first shop, Fender’s Repair Service, 8 years prior in 1938, but was ready to move on. He turned the radio shop over to his friend Dale Hyatt and went fulltime into the music instrument business. By 1949, Fender guitars and amps were firmly established in the music industry. To the left, a photo shows a young Leo Fender (far right) and others with an early Fender guitar model.

The year 1949 was also monumental because Leo and coworker George Fullerton completed the first prototype for the famous Esquire guitar. The prototype (pictured to the left) shared a similar body shape with later guitars of the same vein. The shape was a dreadnaught style with a single cutaway, allowing easy access to the upper frets of the guitar. In the next year, 1950, the Fender Electric Instruments Company officially released the first mass produced guitar ever, the Fender Esquire. The biggest change from the prototype to the first model (seen below) was the headstock shape. The Esquire was a solid-body, single pickup electric guitar – a pickup is a magnet that “picks up” the vibration from the strings and sends it to an amp. The pickups on the first Esquires pictured are the metal boxes at the end of the strings. The guitar also had one knob to control the overall volume and one knob to control the tone, or timbre, of the guitar’s pickup. The first advertised color scheme was a black body with a white pick guard, but later produced Esquires had a blonde body with a black pick guitar (as pictured). This first model also did not have a truss rod. A truss rod is a piece of metal that runs inside and along the neck. The end of the rod can be turned with a tool which will push or pull the neck in one direction or another. This is used to help straighten the neck when the tension from the strings causes it to bend over time. Only about 50 of these first Esquires were made. As orders increased, the needed improvements were recognized by Leo and George. Just months later they set out to revamp their already very popular electric guitar model.

 

Later in 1950, Fender came out with what was shortly known as the Broadcaster (pictured on the left). This model came with a few upgrades which included the addition of a much needed truss rod along with a second pickup, located next to the base of the neck. This pickup, because of its location and construction, had a much rounder and less bright sound. There was also a pickup selector, a switch which would allow the player to turn on one pickup, the other, or both. This variety of tones and combinations made the Broadcaster a much more versatile instrument and the added truss rod made it more durable. At the time, fellow musical instrument company, Gretch, caught popular wind of Fender’s new release and took legal action against the name, due to the conflict of their Gretch Broadkaster drums. Fender agreed to change the name and “Broadcaster” was removed from the Fender headstock. During the time that the company was renaming their flagship guitar, the guitar they were producing had nothing but “Fender” on the headstock. Guitars from this short era are known as Nocasters, hinting to their lack of a visual name. In 1951, Fender rereleased their electric guitar model, and named it the Telecaster. To this day, the Telecaster model still carries its iconic name, form, and sound onto the stage and into the studio through the hands of countless musicians.

Leo did not stop there in 1951. That same year he released his company’s first electric bass model, known as the Precision Bass (a 1952 model to the left). This model is still mass produced today and is one of the most popular and used bass guitars. Next in line came Leo’s second guitar model, that would achieve him even more historic fame and forever make him an icon in the guitar world. The Fender Stratocaster followed the Telecaster in 1954, and took the world by storm. It has stood atop the pillar of modern guitar as the most recognized shape and symbol of the instrument. It has been used on countless famous recordings and is only second in Fender origin to the one and only Telecaster.

 

 

 

In 1964, Fender began producing their first acoustic style guitars. Later that year, the visually distinctive, offset guitar called the Mustang was released. Unfortunately, Leo Fender began developing health problems at age 55 and decided to sell his company. On January 5th, 1965, Fender sold to Columbia Records Distribution Corps. for $13 million. Throughout the years after Leo’s ownership, Fender has undergone many changes. Regardless, they have remained at the top of the list of guitar manufacturing and developing giants. Even though decades of growth and change have coursed through the Fender name, the legendary shape of the original Esquire holds true in what is still known as the Telecaster. Above is a photo of an old guitar factory line. Today, only high end guitars are handmade, a testament to how popular guitar playing has become.

Happy Birthday to the Fender Esquire! 2020 marks its 70th year in existence. It still remains one of the most recognized and favored guitars around the world and many competing companies create similar styles. The specific photograph to the right is of the 70th anniversary Esquire model released in 2020. It has a special seafoam green finish, but features the classic white pick guard and single pickup. This rerelease is a passionate ode to an all time classic. The Esquire was the first ever mass produced electric guitar, a huge achievement that paved the way for so much. For such a cornerstone in a moment of guitar history, the shape, sound, and love for the Fender Esquire remains timeless.

Continue Reading