About the manufacturer : Before being bought out by Gibson in the late 1950s, Epiphone was actually Gibson's main rival in the archtop market, but the company grew weak after World War II; Gibson would soon absorb it.
The company was founded by Greek national Epaminondas Stathopoulos in 1915. The name Epiphone (a combination of Epaminondas' nickname "Epi" and "phone", Greek for "sound") would not appear until 1924.
Epiphone is now an off-brand of Gibson, as Squier is an off-brand of Fender. Because of this, many of the instruments look the same as the more expensive Gibson versions. The instruments given the Epiphone badge usually have lower quality components than the Gibson ones, or are not quite as elaborately decorated.
In the late 1970s, Epiphones began to be manufactured in Japan. Epiphone's main manufacturing base is now in Korea.