The inventor, Harold Rhodes, first began making musical instruments in the 1940s, initially developing a type of electric xylophone which was, oddly enough, constructed from bits of aluminium tubing salvaged from B17 bombers.
In the early 1960s and in conjunction with Leo Fender, Harold Rhodes developed the Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, which was based around a small 32 note keyboard which utilised the principal of striking aluminium tubes or tines to create the distinctive sound. A short while later, in 1965, the first full size Fender Rhodes was born - the Suitcase 88.
Although over the years various model names have come and gone, one thing has remained constant throughout all of the Rhodes guises, its unmistakable sound. Used by artists from Chick Corea to Portishead and Steely Dan to Stevie Wonder, the Fender Rhodes has truly helped shape the last 30 years of modern music.