started out with a serial number of 8,001 because the company estimated that is how many guitars they manufactured up until that time and accurate records did not exist, so this is a an estimated value.
Looking at the photo above, you can see there are two numbers stamped on the head block.
Do you own a Martin Guitar or are you looking to buy an older Martin Guitar and want to verify the model number and the date of it's build? These number include all Martin Guitars, but do not include Mandolins, Basses and Electric Guitars. For most Martin Acoustic Guitars with a round sound hole, both the serial number and the model number are stamped on the head or neck block, inside the instrument.
In the table matrix below is a listing of all the acoustic guitars made by C. You can easily see the numbers by peering through the sound hole while holding the instrument up to a strong natural light source or with a flashlight.
These archtop guitars are included within the matrix below as well.
The top number is the guitar model number, in this example this is a D-18.
The bottom number is the Martin Guitar serial number of the instrument.
This guitar happens to be Martin Guitar Serial Number 95984, which when referenced from the serial number matrix below, we find out that this is a 1946 model D-18 and is one of 4,534 that were made in that year. If you find that your serial number is present but not a model number, then you have an older Martin.
They started stamping the model number on the head blocks of the instruments in October of 1930.
All models are included in these numbers and Martin used a very logical consecutive numbering system along with model number stamping to eliminate a lot of confusion. So we have listed the year of manufacture, the starting serial number for that year and the ending serial number for that year and the total number of instruments constructed during that year.