Founded in 1931 by Adolph Rickenbacker and George D. Beauchamp, the Los Angeles company was the first to specialise in electronic instruments and is credited with inventing the modern electric guitar.
After the departure of his partner, Adolph Rickenbacker sold the business to Francis C Hall in 1953. Hall had been a key figure in the development and distribution of Leo Fender’s electric guitars, and under his influence, Rickenbacker introduced innovative designs through the 1950s to capitalise on the advent of rock ‘n’ roll.
The Beatles’ use of Rickenbacker guitars in the 1960s made the brand a household name. Since then, artists including Tom Petty, R.E.M. and Tame Impala have continued to drive Rickenbacker’s popularity. The company became RIC (Rickenbacker International Corporation) under Hall, who retired in 1984. He left the business to his son John Hall who, along with his wife Cindalee, remains the company’s sole owner.