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For more than 100 years Gretsch has developed what came to be known as "That Great Gretsch Sound," but it all began with a young German immigrant in Brooklyn. Gretsch is an American company that manufactures guitars, basses and drums. The company was founded in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York 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 a larger facility where Gretsch went on to become one of the most prominent manufacturers of American musical instruments.