Clarification: March 2013 HPC

Clarification regarding article from November 2012 HPC regarding use of carbon fiber in musical instruments.

In the November 2012 issue of HPC, we reported on the use of carbon fiber in the manufacture of carbon fiber musical instruments, including violins, cellos and guitars. The article included a review of the history of carbon fiber in instruments. Unfortunately, we overlooked one major contributor.

Leonard K. John, senior engineering advisor, materials technology, at Bombardier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), reports that he developed the world’s first carbon fiber violin in the 1970s, and in 1983 he was granted the first U.S. patent for a carbon fiber violin and related instruments, including the viola, cello and bass. John tells HPC that he has produced nine violins to date, with a 10th under consideration.

John’s original carbon fiber violin is on display at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. His instrument also is on display at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, N.D.). To read more about the violin, visit

HPC regrets that John’s work was not noted and credited in the original report.