THE FENDER BODY
Initially, when the Fender Stratocaster was introduced in 1954, it had a single layer white pickguard attached with 8 screws. In mid 1959, Fender switches to a multiple layer pickguard with 11 mounting screws. One of the additional screws required a change to the interior body route on the Stratocaster. Now a added "shoulder" was left in the electronic route to accomodate one of the extra pickguard screws. Starting in the late 1960's, Fender also
changed the shape of the pickup routes on the Strat. Now the corners were more square, instead of being round.
The Telecaster body also changed in the 1970's. The "notch" that existed on the bass side of the neck pocket was removed.
Wood can be inconsistent in grain pattern and density depending upon the conditions under which the tree is grown. Fender through the years has experimented with many types of woods in the production of its guitars. We see Rosewood Telecasters, Walnut Strats, and Mahogany Strats and Teles.
Early Esquires produced in 1950 were produced with a Pine body. The Stratocaster was introduced in 1954 with an Ash body.
In mid-1956 Fender made the change to Alder for their Sunburst Strats. After '56 Ash was set aside for blond instruments and those requiring custom colors. Ash tends to be lighter in weight and exhibits more grain than Alder making it ideal for the see-thru finishes. Anything in blond, Stratocaster or Telecaster, was made from Ash, anything else was Alder.
During 1963 and1964 a few models made with Mahogany bodies.
In 1982 a few Strats were made of Hackberry, as a substitute for Alder.
From 1990 - present: Most Japanese Fenders (and some US made models) use a Basswood body.
1992 - present: Some Mexican models are made with Poplar bodies.