Founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, the company created the Telecaster and Stratocaster, favoured by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Buddy Holly. The company filed papers Thursday for a $200-million (U.S.) initial public offering.
The legendary Jimi Hendrix: Fender's Stratocaster was a favourite of Hendrix and other members of rock royalty. Its sturdy, all-wood body could stand up to repeated abuse, a fitting feature in the rock and roll world.
This 1949 prototype of the Fender guitar shows a striking similarity to the models available in later years.
(The Canadian Press/The Canadian Press)
The partly burnt left-handed 1965 Fender Stratocaster that the late Jimi Hendrix set on fire during a concert at the London Astoria in 1967. It was later restored to working order by Frank Zappa.
(Max Nash/Associated Press/Max Nash/Associated Press)
In 2003, Janie Hendrix, sister of the legendary Jimi, stands next to fragments of the Fender Stratocaster guitar that Hendrix smashed at the Saville Theater in London, Eng., on June 4, 1967. It is one of the numerous displays at the Jimi Hendrix Gallery in Seattle, Wash.
(Anthony Bolante/Reuters/Anthony Bolante/Reuters)
But it wasn't all Hendrix. This Fender Squier Stratocaster signed by Paul McCartney was displayed at Christie's Auction House prior to its sale.
(Ben Curtis/AFP/Ben Curtis/AFP)
A 1963 Fender Telecaster Custom guitar belonging to John Lennon, right, is displayed in Paris in October, 2006.
(Benoit Tessier/Reuters/Benoit Tessier/Reuters)
Rocker Alice Cooper, left, and then Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon hold Fender Stratocasters at the launching of Guitar Mania in 2005, a civic arts project involving the display of 10-foot tall replicas of Fender Stratocasters designed and decorated by local and celebrity artists.
(Matt York/Associated Press/Matt York/Associated Press)
Former Blind Faith bandmates Steve Winwood, left, and Eric Clapton play their Fenders at a concert in New York's Madison Square Garden in 2008.
(Richard Drew/Associated Press/Richard Drew/Associated Press)
Guitarist Jeff Beck struts his 'Strat' at Madison Square Garden in 2010.
(Evan Agostini/Associated Press/Evan Agostini/Associated Press)
And last, but not least, Bob Dylan, shown at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in 2004.
(Robert Galbraith/Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Reuters)