Does Fender use real tortoise shell?

Does Fender use real tortoise shell?

They were manufactured for Fender by the New York-based D’Andrea company in a variety of shapes and in thin, medium and heavy thicknesses. And from the very beginning, they were made of celluloid. They were never made of genuine tortoiseshell.

What is a celluloid pickguard?

This particular pickguard is made of celluloid, one of the earliest forms of plastic. Celluloid has been used in the past to make pickguards, binding, picks and other small plastic parts for guitars. As it ages, celluloid begins to break down and emits a gas that can corrode metal parts like hardware and even frets.

What’s the purpose of a pickguard?

A device applied to the surface of a guitar (or bass, etc.) to protect its finish from scratches that may occur due to picks scraping across the top while playing. Pick guards are usually made from some type of plastic, although metal and other materials are sometimes used.

Did Fender ever use real tortoiseshell pickguards?

As noted, Fender never used anything but faux tortoiseshell for its tortoiseshell pickguards. The real thing would’ve been most impractical as it was far too brittle, far too expensive and, in due time, quite illegal. Fender experimented with pickguard materials throughout the 1950s.

Why do faux tortoiseshell pickguards shrink?

The faux tortoiseshell top layer of these improved pickguards, however, remained celluloid (as it does to this day), which originally presented a problem: As the celluloid faux-tortoiseshell layer inevitably tried to shrink, it would warp the non-shrinking plastic layers beneath it into a bowl shape.

What kind of pickguard does a Stratocaster have?

Telecasters and Stratocasters received three-ply white-black-white “nitro” pickguards that year; the Precision Bass, Electric Mandolin and Jazzmaster received four-ply pickguards with a faux tortoiseshell layer atop the white, black and white layers.

Are tortoiseshell guitar picks real?

Real tortoiseshell guitar picks were in fact quite popular well into the 20th century, but their use dwindled as less-expensive celluloid guitar picks appeared around the 1920s and gained popularity, and as genuine tortoiseshell was later outlawed.