- acoustic guitars
Grinnell Brothers was founded in 1872 in Ann Arbor by Ira Grinnell - first selling sewing machines and later musical instruments. Ira's hard work eventually led to the opening of The Grinnell Brothers Music House in 1908 on Woodward Avenue, Detroit. This giant music store sold a huge range of products. Grinnell opened their own large piano manufacturing factories and became the world’s largest piano distributor by the mid-1950s. The Grinnell family sold the company in April 1955 to WKC Inc. By the mid-1960s, Grinnell’s was the country’s largest music merchandiser and had more than 40 stores in the USA and Canada. In 1966 the owners took the company public as American Music Stores Inc. The company's fortunes however collapsed after the Detroit riots of 1967. White families left for the suburbs, taking their business to suburban shopping malls. At the same time the popularity of pianos declined in favour of electric guitars and electronic keyboards. American Music Stores Inc sold Grinnells brand to David Rose in 1976 but Grinnells filed for bankruptcy in 1977 and finally closed its Woodward Street store in 1981. The Grinnell Brothers stores sold a range of guitars but it there is no evidence they made their own instruments. Around 1940 Gibson made acoustic guitars which were branded as "Grinnell" and sold in the Grinnell Brothers store.
Source: The Strat in the Attic: Thrilling Stories of Guitar Archaeology By Deke Dickerson. 2013. Voyageur Press