Downtown Walking Tour

fender muralfender mural

Site of Leo Fender's Original Factory

(Parking Garage- 100-block S. Pomona Avenue)

In 1945, Leo Fender began manufacturing and selling guitars and amplifiers from his retail store, Fender's Radio Service (107 South Harbor), but needed more space.  In 1946, he built two make-shift metal buildings at this location, and then added a brick building in May 1950 (razed).  The first “Fender Fine Line Electric Instruments” were produced at this factory.  Initially production was sporadic, and it wasn't until the early 1950s that there was sufficient demand to keep the factory open full-time.  It was at this factory that the first Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Precision Bass were first made, now the most widely copied guitars in the world.   Because Fender put “Fullerton, California” on all the guitars he produced, Fullerton became known worldwide.   Needing more room, Fender then moved to a larger facility at 500 South Raymond in 1953. 

fender plaque

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Color photography by James C. Powell
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