OriginalGretsch was founded in 1883 by Friedrich Gretsch, a recent immigrant to the US from Germany who intended to manufacture banjos, tambourines, and drums. In 1895, Friedrich Gretsch died at the age of 39 and the already successful company was taken over by his son, Fred, who guided it into even greater profitability. By 1916, the company moved into a large 10-story building in Brooklyn, New York and became one of the most prominent American musical instrument makers. In the late 30s Gretsch began producing guitars in a serious way and was extremely popular in the late 50s and early 60s. After sliding into disfavour and eventual bankruptcy in the 70s and 80s, Gretsch was successfully revived by Fred Gretsch III in 1989. Most modern-era Gretsch guitars are manufactured in the far and further east, although US-made "Custom Shop" models are sometimes available. In 2003 Gretsch entered an agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Company, in which Gretsch would continue to own the company, but FMIC would handle most development, distribution and sales. This agreement has proven to be very successful, and many Gretsch fans believe the company is currently experiencing a second golden era.