Guitar effects pedals have been around for quite some time now. Guitarists have been experimenting with their sound since the invention of the instrument, of course, and as soon as the electric guitar was invented the possibilities for creating effects expanded massively.
If you are looking for a particular sound, it’s worth remembering that even today almost all guitar effects are based on a few key techniques. Even the most high-tech digital effects are based on sounds first created way back in the 1940s, 50s, or 60s.
As you can see, the effects pedal has been around for quite a while! Whilst the history of the effects pedal is quite fascinating in itself, it’s also useful if you are after a particular style or sound in your playing. If you are playing 60s surf-rock, for instance, it’s really worth investing in a vintage pedal from that era, because although modern effects pedals do a pretty good job of re-creating classic tones, nothing beats the original