product types: 

  • banjos
  • acoustic guitars
  • violins


William B. Tilton was granted a patent in 1851 (US8338) for a new way of bracing violins, using a dowel through the middle of the body (like a banjo). Three years later Tilton was granted another patent  (US10380A) for the method of attaching strings to a tailpiece at the foot of the guitar (like on a violin). These improvements were well received (innovation was the spirit of the age) and Tilton was awarded medals at the annual fair of the American Institute . Players also began asking Tilton to retro-fit these tailpieces to other guitars - such as those by Martin or Schmidt & Maul. Tilton then sold the rights to his guitar design to John C. Haynes and Co who manufactured and distributed it as the "Tilton Patented Gold Medal Guitar". Tilton also used a dowel brace across the body (like in his violin)  to which a silver medallion was fixed and clearly visible through the sound-hole. These medallions were elaborately engraved with the patent details as well as the name of the maker (there were other makers besides Haynes who licensed the design, including Zogbaum & Fairchild). Tilton design guitars were still available around 1900.

Source: C.F. Martin & His Guitars, 1796-1873. Philip F Dura. UNC Press Books, 2003


Tilton and Company
65 Chatham Street
New York , NY
United States
New York US