The Fender Telecaster, colloquially known as the Tele , is the world's first mass-produced, commercially successful solid-body electric guitar.
Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950 as a two-pickup version of its sister model, the single-pickup Esquire, the pair were the first guitars of their kind manufactured on a substantial scale. A trademark conflict with a rival manufacturer's (Gretsch Broadkaster) led to the guitar being renamed in 1951. Initially, the Broadcaster name was simply cut off of the labels placed on the guitars (leading to a limited run of nameless guitars known as "No-casters") and later in 1951, the final name of Telecaster was applied to the guitar to take advantage of the advent of television. The Telecaster quickly became a popular model, and has remained in continuous production since its first incarnation.Like the Fender Stratocaster, the Telecaster is a versatile guitar, usable for most styles of music and has been used in many genres, including country, reggae, rock, pop, folk, soul, blues, jazz, punk, metal, alternative, indie rock, and R&B. The base model has always been available, and other than a change to the pickup selector switch configuration, a thinning of the neck, and a few variations on the bridge design, it has remained recognizable and mostly unchanged from the 1950s. Several variant models have been produced over the years including those with different pickup configurations and electronics, semi-hollow body designs, and even a twelve string model.