Hey guys,

this is a random question but when did guitar companies start using laminate?

for... pickguards? or... what the hell you talking about? and probably to keep the finish nice and sparkly clean
It's been in use for quite a number of years now. I'd say close to 20. Avenger is partially right. There are other reasons for it tho. One is that certain countries ban logging native trees over a certain age, which is where the good wood comes from. This makes the available stock diminish quickly over time, so there just isn't much of it left anymore. Laminates are able to get away with a very thin layer on the outside for looks, while using other more commonly available woods for the underlying layers. Not as good of sound, but at least they aren't chopping down 100+ yr old trees left and right just to make guitars.
It really is something to think about when buying a new guitar.