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The Epiphone Company is a musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos. Epiphone was Gibson’s main rival in the archtop market. Their professional archtops, including the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph, rivaled those of Gibson. Aside from their guitars, Epiphone also made upright basses, banjos, and other stringed instruments. However, the company’s weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson to absorb it.
The name “Epiphone” is a combination of proprietor Epaminondas Stathopoulos’ nickname “Epi” and “phone”, as well as a play on one meaning of the word “epiphany,” namely a sudden inspiration frequently presenting itself as supernatural in origin.