The First Plastic Pick, EVER!
In 1922, D'Andrea USA invented the first guitar pick! Today we are creating picks for many companies seen across the world, have an extensive catalog of custom picks and products, and have been distributing leading products such as Bullet Cable, Thimble Slide and Ace Guitar Straps.
It all started in downtown New York City in 1922. Luigi D'Andrea, a Neapolitan vacuum cleaner salesman, happened upon a sidewalk sale. He bought some sheets of tortoise shell colored cellulose nitrate plastic and mallet dies that were used to make little heart shaped decorations for the tops of powder puff boxes. He punched out a few hundred of the little 1`` flat hearts on his kitchen table. When his young son Anthony observed that the hearts resembled an uncle's tortoise shell mandolin pick it gave Luigi an idea. A few days later, he sold a cigar box of the little hearts to the G. Schirmer & Son Company, a New York music store, for the amazing sum of $10. He knew he had something to build on here so he started a small factory on 27th street in NYC.
By 1928, Luigi D'Andrea was the Henry Ford of guitar picks. He had semi-automated equipment to punch, tumble and imprint as many as 59 different shaped picks in both celluloid and real tortoise shell. He produced flat picks, thumb and fingerpicks, pickguards as well as drum bags and cases for guitar, bass, saxophone and accordion.
In the 1930's, Luigi's son Anthony joined the business and began many innovations of his own. Not only the production, but the marketing of picks became his forte. The 50's and 60's saw the advent of mass-producing private label picks for guitar companies requiring sophisticated automated printing and packaging. Everyone from the local music store to the Beatles wanted personalized picks.