Parent brand: 

product types: 

  • banjos
  • mandolins


The Flatiron mandolin brand originated in 1975 when Charles (Chuck) F. Morrison dropped out of University in Boulder, Colorado to start building mandolins. He rented space for workshops on Pearl street, First at David Goodrich’s Peghead shop on west Pearl St., then at an 800 square foot shop on east Pearl St. This is where he started making copies of his grandfather's old WW1 Gibson Army/Navy model mandolin. Morrison named them Flatirons, after the giant slabs of rock that overlook Boulder and he sold them locally, through Talbot’s Music in Yakima, WA and Steve and Maxine Carlson’s Backporch Pickin’ Parlor in Bozeman, MT.

Steve Carlson had met Chuck Morrison at the Colorado Bluegrass Festival in 1976 and bought two Flatiron mandolins to sell in his music store in Bozeman. In 1977 (after he had sold a further 12 of Morrison's Flatiron mandolins), Carlson was disappointed to learn that Chuck Morrison was about to quit making them as it was not profitable to build them on a small scale. At this point Carlson had the idea of moving Flatiron production to Bozeman and scaling up the operation. In 1979 Chuck Morrison helped set up the original Montana Flation Mandolin shop (& Backporch Productions) with Steve and Maxine Carlson in the old Bozeman Hotel.

Morrison left Flatiron in 1981 and moved to Vermont to make guitars and archtop mandolins. Morrison stopped making his own Flatiron style mandolins due to a non-compete clause with the Carlsons. In 1985 Flatiron added arched top A and F style mandolins to their product line-up, with a quality that meant they were in direct competition with Gibson's mandolins. Gibson bought the Flatiron company in 1987 and began to make both Gibson and Flatiron mandolins as well as acoustic guitars in Bozeman. This lasted until 1996 when Gibson moved Flatiron mandolin production to Nashville.

Bruce Weber (the manager of Flatiron) and some other Flatiron Montana employees chose to stay in Bozeman and started the Sound to Earth company which made Weber brand mandolins. Gibson stopped making Flatiron-brand mandolins in Nashville in the early 2000's but started Flatiron production in China around 2007.

Source: C.F. Morrison History



Flatiron Mandolins Bozeman , MT
United States
Montana US