Oral History Information
Lowell Kiesel, as the founder of the southern California guitar company Carvin, joined the ranks with Leo Fender, Paul A. Bigsby, and the Rickenbacker Company, in establishing the new era of electric guitar. In 1946 he formed L. C. Kiesel Company winding pickups on an old sewing machine. As the company grew and the product line began to connect with musicians around the world, Lowell changed the name of the company to Carvin, after his sons Carson and Gavin. Lowell was a pioneer in early mail-order catalogs and designed marketing programs that still serve the company over 50 years after they were established. Lowell played pedal steel guitar professionally, beginning in the 1940s, and developed many ways to enhance the quality of the instrument’s sound. When a demand for louder stringed instruments increased following World War II, Lowell was there to apply his ideas and skills and introduced a line of innovative products.