Blog / Miscellaneous

Another Carl Anderson Instrument

Additional research has revealed that Carl C. Anderson was active in San Francisco from at least 1893 until 1911. He listed himself in the SF directories as a "musical instrument manufacturer." He seems to have fairly peripatetic, having changed business addresses almost every year. In 1905 (before the earthquake and fire) he listed his address as 106 Golden Gate Ave, in 1907 (after the earthquake and fire) he was at 1205-1/2 Golden Gate Ave, and in 1911 at 804 Polk St. He seems to have worked out of his home because the maps of that period show those addresses as residences.

Keith Duncan of Portland recently found a Carl Anderson "parlor" guitar in a Goodwill in Portland with a hand written label dated 1893. This is the earliest Anderson guitar on record so far.

This small bodied guitar is in good condition for being almost 120 years old, with only a couple of small repairs visible in the photos. The Martin-style bridge looks to be a replacement, based on the marks around it on the top.

Photos courtesy of and copyright by Keith Duncan.


Posted by Charles under Acoustic GuitarsMiscellaneous on 06/20


Welcome to Guitar Photography by Charles L Webster.

I offer fine art, advertising, and catalog photography of guitars and other stringed instruments.

I will use this blog to discuss my photography and show some of the tools and techniques I use in my work. This will be a continuation of the articles on my blog at

I became intrigued by the visual aspects of guitars a few years ago when my friend Mike Simpson brought a particularly beautiful guitar into our office one day. The guitar was made of wood that had a striking grain pattern in deep reds and oranges. When I asked what kind of wood it was, Mike told me it was cocobolo, a hardwood from Central America. I was immediately attracted to the possibilities presented by its rich and varied colors.

As I learned more about guitars and the materials used to make them, I realized that there was a wealth of visual detail in each instrument. Previously all guitars fell into two categories: acoustic or electric. As I explored, I realized that there is an enormous variety of shape, size, color, texture, finish, and detail in guitars, and in stringed instruments in general.

I began my photographic journey with a small bowl-back mandolin that looks much better than it sounds. It has many of the features of larger, more sophisticated instruments; inlay, highly detailed woodwork, a variety of different woods, and more. You can see this instrument in the Ventura Mandolin gallery here on my site.

I have photographed a wide variety of instruments from many countries, ranging from Alan Perlman’s rare and unusual Kora from Gambia in West Africa to Ben Lewry’s beautiful Dram-yan from Tibet. Each instrument presents a different set of challenges to me. Some are small, some large, some shiny and curved, some illuminated from within; each is unique in its detail and construction. The everlasting challenge to me is to capture the unique visual character in a way that reveals something of the “soul” of the instrument.

Posted by Charles under Miscellaneous on 04/03

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