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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), commonly referred to simply as Fender, is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers.
It is known for its solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, such as the Stratocaster (also known as the "Strat"), Telecaster (also known as the "Tele"), Precision Bass (also known as the "P-Bass"), and the Jazz Bass (also known as the "J-Bass"). The company, previously named the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender in 1946.
Over the years Fender used modular production techniques that may have resulted in a guitar that has parts from one year to another.
Parts may have been produced in one year and left in a bin until they were ready to be paired with a body.
In 1954, Fender unveiled the Stratocaster ("Strat") guitar.
With the Telecaster and Precision Bass on the market for some time, Leo Fender was able to incorporate input from working musicians into the Stratocaster's design.
This means that the the serial numbers starting in 1994 ran consecutively on both the MIJ and the CIJ models while the MIJ logo was being phased out.
Other Fender brands include Squier (entry level/budget), Jackson, Charvel, EVH guitars and amplifiers in collaboration with Eddie Van Halen, and the manufacture and distribution of Gretsch guitars under license.