Gretsch is an American company that manufactures guitars, basses and drums. The company was founded in 1883 by Friedrich Gretsch, a 27-year-old German immigrant, shortly after his arrival to the United States. Friedrich Gretsch manufactured banjos, tambourines, and drums until his death in 1895. In 1916, his son, Fred Gretsch Sr. moved operations to Brooklyn, New York where Gretsch went on to become one of the most prominent manufacturers of American musical instruments.
Most modern-era Gretsch guitars are manufactured in the Far East, though American-made “Custom Shop” models are available. In 2002, Gretsch entered a business agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC). Under the terms of that agreement Fred W. Gretsch would retain ownership while FMIC would handle most of the development, distribution and sales.