If you were going to thank one person for making the electric guitar as popular as it is today, that person would have to be Leo Fender. His curiosity, innovation, and practicality are almost solely responsible for putting the guitar in the hands of those who weren’t white-collar jazz or Western swing musicians. Leo’s approach was methodical, experimental, considerate of the players in the field, and cost-effective. The Esquire, released in 1950, followed by the Broadcaster (which became the Telecaster), and on to the futuristic and ultra-modern Stratocaster guitar in 1954 changed the game of country, R&B, and pop music as we know it. Fender’s pop-culture presence and contributions are as relevant today as they were in the 1950’s and continue to be treasured by musicians and collectors all over the world.