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Post subject: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:15 pm
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Is anyone here hip to the history of Squier Bass Guitars? Even just a little bit? Could you post a timeline? No matter how rough; incomplete, or somewhat erroneous? Just something to get the ball rolling and let others fill in facts as they find them.

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:53 pm
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Just in case you wanted to know where the 'Squier' name came from, it came from the V.C. Squier Co.

Oddly enough the history of Fender Brand Strings starts long before Leo Fender was born with the V.C. Squier Company of Battle Creek Michigan.

“Jerome Bonaparte Squier, a young English immigrant who arrived in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the latter part of the 19th century, was a farmer and shoemaker who had learned the fine European art of violin making. He moved to Boston in 1881, where he built and repaired violins with his son, Victor Carroll Squier. To this day, their violins are noted for their exceptional varnishes, and they command high prices as fine examples of early U.S. instrument craftsmanship. Indeed, J.B. Squier ranks among the best-known U.S.-trained violin makers and is often referred to as "the American Stradivarius."

Victor returned to Battle Creek, where he opened his own shop in 1890. As his business grew, Squier moved the company to 429 Lake Ave. and eventually to 427 Capitol Ave, S.W.—the famous "fiddle factory" of Battle Creek. With a limited market for violins in Battle Creek, however, Squier astutely sought relationships with national music schools and famous violinists.

Up to 1900, the best violin strings were made in Europe. Victor Squier started making his own hand-wound violin strings, and the business grew so quickly that he and his employees improvised a dramatic production increase by converting a treadle sewing machine into a string winder capable of producing 1,000 uniformly high-quality strings per day. Squier violin strings, banjo strings and guitar strings became well known nationwide and were especially popular among students because of their reasonable price.”


"Fender Musical Instruments Corporation entered the picture in the 1950s, when the V.C. Squier Company began supplying Southern California inventor and businessman Leo Fender with strings for his unusual new electric guitars. The V.C. Squier Company became an official original equipment manufacturer for Fender in 1963, and Fender bought the V.C. Squier string company in early 1965 shortly before Fender itself was bought by CBS in May of that year." – Wikipedia
We have to take all Wikipedia articles with a grain of salt as there are a few discrepancies.

Leo Fender hired Forrest White to be the general manager of the Fender factory and production. He started on May 20th, 1954. In White’s book “Fender – The Inside Story” on page 52 He talks about the Precision bass and the special strings needed as they didn’t exist yet. Leo “had V.C. Squier make strings for him. He had been buying all of his guitar strings from them, and I also continued to buy our strings there after I was employed as manager in 1954.” Forrest and Leo went on to become the best of friends. Leo went so far as to buy a lot and build a new house across the street from Forrest.

V.C. Squier was acquired by Fender Sales “in the early 1960’s” according to Richard R. Smith on page 247 of ‘Fender – The Sound Heard ‘Round The World’. This reinforces the Wiki stated date of 1963. In an absolute stroke of luck, a page of a scanned document was reproduced on page 67 of Tom Wheeler’s ‘The Fender Archives’. It’s an agreement between Leo Fender, Don Randall, and C.B.S. dated December 15th, 1964 which states in part “and Fender Sales, Inc. owns in excess of 95% of the outstanding shares of stock of V.C. Squier Company”. Don Randall was Leo’s business partner from the very beginning. His half of the company was Fender Sales which he ran autonomously.

Once CBS had acquired Fender in January of 1965 they built a huge brand new factory adjacent to the original Fender factory buildings at Fullerton, California. It was completed in 1966. Don Randall became a Senior Vice President in charge of Fender, and Forrest White became Vice President and General Manager. Leo Fender’s ‘right hand man’ in the factory lab was Freddie Tavares and became the head of Quality Control. As far as I know all the factory workers also kept their jobs.

CBS moved the V.C. Squier factory to a new larger 35,000 square-foot factory on 35 Edison St. in 1972 and continued to operate until CBS announced on May 19, 1981 it would shut down the Battle Creek factory on July 2, 1981. 107 employees were affected.


F.M.I.C. bought themselves back from CBS in 1985, and would build a new plant in Corona, California and a string factory in Chula Vista.

Sometime in 1987 FMIC began trucking strings down to Ensenada, Mexico for packaging in an old rented church by a small group of women. Esther Marron was one of those women and is known as “Fender Mexico Employee #1”.


Fender built its first factory in Ensenada in 1987 which burned to the ground in 1994. Fender rebuilt bigger and better and now has a massive complex of eight buildings. Fender string production was relocated there sometime after and I am unsure of the date. FMIC inexplicably shut down string production and instead contracted American string winders to produce their strings. I have read a date of 2010, but have no hard evidence. I continue to see threads posted from 2010 about the change in Fender Strings, so 2010 looks to be a 'hard date'.


We do know that D’Addario is producing Fender’s bass strings to Fender’s specifications, and that they are not simply repackaged D’Addario product.


*A lot of this information was drawn from various posts made by brotherdave on the Fender Forums, so we thank him for sharing his vast encyclopedic knowledge of all things Fender. *

* BIG thanks to Anne at the Willard Library in Battle Creek for all her efforts and research on my behalf, and also Mike McCullough of the Battle Creek Enquirer. *

* Many thanks to Jon Moody of GHS for all his insight and ongoing efforts to help me track down historically accurate information. *

Researched and Written by: Linn Spencer

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:59 pm
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https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=98755&p=1266799#p1266799

A longer; far more complete, and very convoluted thread

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/history-of-fender-brand-strings.1157207/#post-17431333


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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:21 pm
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I'm absolutely no expert with basses, but to get the topic rolling:

AFAIK, (Fender) Squier basses history mainly follows their line of guitar manufacturing. On the top of my head, I can't recall a Squier subcontracted factory making only guitars - and many (most?) of them have made both Fender and Squier brand products, so that ties the knot even tighter.

One way of looking at the question would be to track down model-by-model history. And that's an enormous task... :wink:


A "quick start guide" from the horse's mouth is this waybackmachine archive/Squier page: https://web.archive.org/web/20090709104 ... article=99


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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:23 am
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There is a site I've looked at that covers a lot of the Japanese Squiers, which eventually became Fender Japan. A lot of info and pics on there.

http://www.21frets.com/

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:15 pm
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jmattis wrote:
I'm absolutely no expert with basses, but to get the topic rolling:

AFAIK, (Fender) Squier basses history mainly follows their line of guitar manufacturing. On the top of my head, I can't recall a Squier subcontracted factory making only guitars - and many (most?) of them have made both Fender and Squier brand products, so that ties the knot even tighter.

One way of looking at the question would be to track down model-by-model history. And that's an enormous task... :wink:


A "quick start guide" from the horse's mouth is this waybackmachine archive/Squier page: https://web.archive.org/web/20090709104 ... article=99

Glad you posted that link jmattis. I read that years ago and had forgotten about it. I'd like to see this thread go way beyond that starting point to be more informative to those seeking Squier Bass knowledge.

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:56 pm
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How many Squier by Fender basses have been made and sold?

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Last edited by linnin on Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:58 pm
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Location: On the loo, regretting that gas station burrito.
I know I've been kind of regretting getting rid of my Squier Precision Bass, after listening back to a recording I did with it. That bass sounded really good in the mix. Not the first time that's happened though. :roll:

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Post subject: Re: History of Squier Bass Guitars
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:57 am
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PaulLF wrote:
There is a site I've looked at that covers a lot of the Japanese Squiers, which eventually became Fender Japan. A lot of info and pics on there.

http://www.21frets.com/

I don't know how I missed your post, Paul. Thanks for the link. Here's one direct to the Squier article. http://www.21frets.com/Squier_History.html

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2017 Lefty American Professional Precision
2018 Rumble Studio 40 Combo
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One day they shall name a GREAT city after me, and they shall call it LINNINGRAD


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