NY music store owner Alfred Dronge formed the Guild company in 1952 upon learning that Epiphone had solved a labor dispute by moving production from New York to Philadelphia, leaving behind a workforce of guitarmakers. Dronge’s first love was jazz music, and through the 1950s Guild’s reputation was built on archtop jazz guitars. With the rise of folk music in the early 1960s, however, Guild expanded it’s flat-top line and quickly became known for it’s thin-waisted, large-body F-series models as well as it’s D-series dreadnaughts.
The F-212, Guild’s first 12-string, was built on the same 16-inch wide, mahogany body as the six-string F-47. Both models were introduced in 1964. A rosewood body 12-string was also offered as the F-312.
Two years later the smaller F-112 and larger, 17-inch F-212XL appeared, as Guild began to dominate the 12-string market of the 1960s. The F-212 and F-212XL proved to be the most enduring, lasting until 1982, long past the heyday of 12-strings.
Guild’s 1960s 12-strings are still regarded by players as among the best 12-strings of the folk era.