Leo Fender's simple and modular design was geared to mass production and made servicing broken guitars easier.
Guitars were not constructed individually, as in traditional luthiery.
Fewer than fifty guitars were originally produced under that name, and most were replaced under warranty because of early manufacturing problems.
From this point onward all Fender necks incorporated truss rods.
Fender had an electronics repair shop called Fender's Radio Service where he first repaired, then designed, amplifiers and electromagnetic pickups for musicians — chiefly players of electric semi-acoustic guitars, electric Hawaiian lap steel guitars, and mandolins.
Players had been "wiring up" their instruments in search of greater volume and projection since the late 1920s, and electric semi-acoustics (such as the Gibson ES-150) had long been widely available.
It was designed in the spirit of the solid-body Hawaiian guitars manufactured by Rickenbacker — small, simple units made of Bakelite and aluminum with the parts bolted together — but with wooden construction.
(Rickenbacker, then spelled "Rickenbacher", also offered a solid Bakelite-bodied electric Spanish guitar in 1935 that seemed to presage details of Fender's design.) The initial single-pickup production model appeared in 1950, and was called the Fender Esquire.