Premier Guitar did a piece detailing a small (but important) bit of gear used by Chet Atkins. The following is part of the article detailing his first guitar.
"Sears Roebuck Silvertone Miraculously, Chet’s first guitar survives. His stepfather brought it home, where it was first used by older brother Lowell (the initials carved in the top are his doing—a girlfriend, apparently). A motivated Chet traded a year’s worth of early morning milking duty for the box, whose neck had been broken and crudely repaired with a screw. The action was stratospherically high and difficult."