In the late 1800's Orville Gibson designed a new mandolin. He used his expertise in violin making and applied it to the traditional bowl-backed (bazooki) mandolins. He patented the design in 1898, and this new instrument became one of the foundations for the Gibson Company in 1902.

Gibson moved on to guitars, but his company continued improving on his mandolins. In the 1920s, Lloyd Loar designed the F-5, which was more ornate and included a scroll design. It was based on Gibson's old F-4 design that founded the company.

Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys took Lloyd's F-5 and created a whole genre of music. Monroe played an original Lloyd-designed F-5 until he passed away.