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Gibson (the company) is an American manufacturer of guitars and other musical instruments based in Nashville, Tennessee. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson moved into guitars and invented the archtop guitar by constructing the same type of carved, arched top used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible since Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s. Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, first solid-body electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson operates via a central headquarters supporting five manufacturing facilities and small regionally-based support structures that enable the sales and marketing activities in each four different worldwide regions.