While staying in the Poconos, I made a pilgrimage to the Martin guitar factory. Be sure to arrive early to tour the small but packed museum, and also try out some of the guitars. The free tour took about 1 hour. There is also a tour you pay for that is more in-depth, and I am sorry I did not know about that one.
The tour guide was friendly and most informative. It was pretty obvious they are given a script that includes much praise of "Mr. Martin" and what a great employer he is. The workers arrive early in the morning, and put in 10 hour days (or normal length and must come in on Saturday) due to mandatory over-time. The guide also informed us that the workers approached "Mr. Martin" a few years ago with plans to unionize, and he told them that that was their choice, but he'd shut down the factory. Guide also told a charming story about a man who invented the "backpacker" guitar, and would build it with scrap he bought from Martin (see my picture of the "first guitar in space"; that is the model). One day "Mr. Martin" called him in and told him he would no longer be sold scrap, but could license Martin the right to make it, and stay home and collect a pay check.
So this was a great tour, especially for a long time guitar player like myself. But I was turned off by "Mr. Martin"''s business practices.
If you are a guitar lover, this tour is a must!
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