Adolph Rickenbacker founded Rickenbacker with two partners in 1932. The company was originally named Ro-Pat-In then in 1934, renamed to the more logical Electro String instrument corporation. The name "Rickenbacker " was also added to the head stock this year. Electro String sold a series of frying pan, lap steels and Electro Spanish guitars. In 1953 Rickenbacker sold the company to Francis Cary Hall. In 1957 Rickenbacker introduced the Combo 650 and the Combo 850 which utilized a sweeping crescent shape.
In 1958 Rickenbacker introduced the thin hollow body designs completing the design elements we recognize today. One of the interesting things about Rickenbacker guitars is that the deluxe models (starting in 1960) featured and extra jack with "Rick-O-Sound" which divided the signal from the neck and bridge pickups allowing each signal to be fed to a different amp. In 1964 Rickenbacker added 12 string models to their line, John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles were early customers. By 1965 the distribution company was finally renamed "Rickenbacker Inc. and today it is known as Rickenbacker International Corporation or RIC.