D’Addario is a family owned and operated business, with a history going back to 1860 in a small Italian town, called Salle, where they made strings from animal gut - a traditional, but laborious process.
In 1905, Charles D’Addario, left Italy for Queens in New York and began importing the family’s strings. In 1918, he opened a shop in his garage in Astoria, where he made his own gut strings. In the late 1930s, when Charles D’Addario’s son John Sr. had joined the business — by then known as C. D’Addario & Son — the company began making steel strings and nylon core strings for fretted instruments.
Since then, the company has continued to evolve and expand its product range. In 2004 the company acquired the Rico brand (itself with a history going back to 1928) and have improved the quality and consistency of reed making with new digital technology. The orange Rico reeds a now staple in many students’ cases, but their innovative reeds using synthetic materials are increasingly popular.
The company is still owned and operated by the D'Addario family, with 13 family members among the 1,000 employees of the company.The company produces various different reeds under this brand.