Maton was founded in 1946 as the Maton Musical Instruments Company by Bill and Reg May. Reg was a wood machinist, and Bill a jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier who had for some years operated a custom guitar building and repair business under the name Maton Stringed Instruments and Repairs. The name "Maton" came from the words "May Tone" and is pronounced Mayten (first syllable stress, second syllable indeterminate vowel).
At first the company produced high-quality acoustic instruments for students and working professionals, aiming at providing good value for money and experimenting with the use of Australian woods. In the 1960s they expanded into electric instruments and instrument amplifiers, at first under the name Magnetone. The early catalogs noted that the warranties on amplifiers and loudspeakers were void if used in situations of "overload or distortion", reflecting Bill's jazz background but still incredible to modern electric guitarists of any style.
The company has had several moves to newer and bigger premises over the years as their production has grown, but always in Melbourne. They have exported since the 1970s, principally to the USA. They remain a family-owned company, producing a range of acoustic and electric instruments in the upper price brackets.
Most of their models both present and past can be seen on their website (link below), but in the late 1960s and early 1970s many unique solid-bodied guitars were built of which there is now no record.