It was 1946 in Fullerton CA, and Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender had a successful radio repair shop and a rep for being smart and adventurous - but he was already hatching bigger ideas.
The result? Nothing other than the first production-model solidbody electric guitars, the instruments that evolved into the Telecaster, and later, a proliferation of elegantly designed player's instruments, including the now-legendary Stratocaster.
It was a design sensibility that started out clean and simple and became classic. The list of influential guitarists who played Fender guitars is so dauntingly long the Rock Hall of Fame would have to build a new wing to house it - and rock-n-roll, indeed popular music anywhere after WWII, would be unimaginable without the sound of Fender guitars and amps.