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It was designed in the spirit of the solid-body Hawaiian guitars manufactured by Rickenbacker — small, simple units made of Bakelite and aluminum with the parts bolted together — but with wooden construction.
(Rickenbacker, then spelled "Rickenbacher", also offered a solid Bakelite-bodied electric Spanish guitar in 1935 that seemed to presage details of Fender's design.) The initial single-pickup production model appeared in 1950, and was called the Fender Esquire.
In particular, the Esquire necks had no truss rod and many were replaced due to bent necks.
Later in 1950, this single-pickup model was discontinued, and a two-pickup model was renamed the Broadcaster.
These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number.
Instead, the instrument’s country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number.
The numbers for each year typically overlap, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and as necks that are made and serial numbered late in any given year are used on instruments assembled in the early months of the following year.
A new serial-numbering scheme was adopted toward the end of 2009 using the number 10 as a prefix, followed by a space, followed by seven digits.
Instruments made between 19 carry MN prefix serial numbers, with the M designating Mexico and the N designating the 1990s.Tone had never, until then, been the primary reason for a guitarist to go electric, but in 1943, when Fender and his partner, Clayton Orr "Doc" Kauffman, built a crude wooden guitar as a pickup test rig, local country players started asking to borrow it for gigs. Fender was intrigued, and in 1949, when it was long understood that solid construction offered great advantages in electric instruments, but before any commercial solid-body Spanish guitars had caught on (the then-small Audiovox company apparently offered a modern, solid-body electric guitar as early as the mid-1930s), he built a better prototype.That hand-built prototype, an anonymous white guitar, had most of the features of what would become the Telecaster.Ash and maple were used to construct the body and neck respectively and the guitar came in one color entitled, blond.Fewer than fifty guitars were originally produced under that name, and most were replaced under warranty because of early manufacturing problems.
The so-called Nocaster was a short-lived variant of Telecaster.