Gibson Brands, Inc. (formerly Gibson Guitar Corp.) is an American manufacturer of guitars and other instruments, now based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was formerly known as Gibson Guitar Corp. and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. on June 11, 2013. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 as The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd. in Kalamazoo, Michigan to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) which was acquired in 1969 by Panama-based conglomerate, Ecuadorian Company Limited (E.C.L.) that changed its name in the same year to Norlin Corporation. Many observers see this as the beginning of an era of mismanagement. Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the worlds most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul.