One of the largest body shapes in the acoustic family, the dreadnought, was introduced in the early days of broadcast and recording, giving guitarists the extra measure of bass and volume they needed.
In the early 1900s, broadcast technology made working class heroes of numerous acoustic guitar-wielding country and folk singers. Some of these artists complained that when gathered around a single microphone, they were unable to compete sonically with harmonized vocals or other instruments. Dreadnoughts were the answer to this need for improved volume and body.
In 1916, the word “dreadnought” referred to an all-big-gun battleship, the perfect metaphor for this big sounding guitar.