Fender Telecaster Guitars - A brief history and popular models The Fender Telecaster was first introduced in 1951 as the "Fender Broadcaster" however Gretsch owned rights to the name and Fender renamed the guitar the "Telecaster" or "Tele" as it is affectionately know as. It was the first commercially marketed solid body electric guitar. The Telecaster is a two pickup guitar with a bridge that allows great sustain and great treble tone. For this reason many country artists prefer the distinctive Telecaster sound. The Telecaster was Fender's first wildly popular guitar. Basic features included a single cutaway slab body with 2 knobs, a 3 position toggle switch, 3 adjustable bridge saddles and strings that anchored thru the body. Major changes to the Telecaster included the addition of a Rosewood fingerboard and 8 screw pick guard in 1959, In 1965 Fender added the large F Logo to the neck plate. The custom model was introduced in 1959 and was discontinued in 1970 which featured a sunburst finish and a bound edge. In 1968 Fender introduced the "Thin Line" Telecaster with traditional hardware and a single F hole in the body plus and a new pick guard design. 2 humbuckers were added to the Thin Line in 1972. The Elite model was introduced in 1983 and featured new pickups and circuitry however was short lived and was discontinued in 1985. The Deluxe model had a Strat like headstock and vibrato and was available from 1973 to 1982.