The Epiphone Company is a musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos. Epiphone was bought by Chicago Musical Instrument Company, which also owned Gibson Guitar Corporation, in 1957. Epiphone was Gibson's main rival in the archtop market. Their professional archtops, including the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph, rivaled Show more...
(and some contend surpassed) those of Gibson. Aside from their guitars, Epiphone also made upright basses, banjos, and other stringed instruments. However, the company's weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson to absorb it.
The name "Epiphone" is a combination of proprietor Epaminondas Stathopoulos' nickname "Epi" and "phone" (from Greek phon-, "sound"/"voice"), as well as a play on one meaning of the word "epiphany," namely a sudden inspiration frequently presenting itself as supernatural in origin.
Epiphone started in 1873, in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire (now İzmir, Turkey), where Greek founder Anastasios Stathopoulos made his own fiddles and lutes (oud, laouto). Stathopoulos moved to the United States of America in 1903, and continued to make his original instruments, as well as mandolins, from Long Island City in