Odilon Redon, Tree, 1892
On this day in music history: April 10, 1956 - The United States patent office issues a patent to Leo Fender for the Stratocaster electric guitar. Designed by Fender, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares, the guitar will make its debut in 1954, four years after Fender’s first solid body electric, the Telecaster. The instruments’ simple but elegant design with double cutaways and body contours will capture musicians imagination and will become one of the most popular and emulated guitar designs in history. The original Stratocasters feature an ash body in two color sunburst with a twenty one fret one piece maple neck. By the time Fender receives the patent for the guitar in 1956, the company will offer them with alder bodies. By 1960, they will also offer the guitar in a number of custom colors (though some Strats made prior to this time were made in other colors but were special orders) and with the option of maple necks or ones with slab fingerboards made out of Brazilian rosewood.