Ludwig Paper Labels from 1971-72 era with Date Codes

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
19,915
Reaction score
2,228
Location
Illinois
cwdrums said:
Wish we could put out an "All Points Bulletin" in the Chicago area for any Ludwig employee from that time frame. Go to the source and get the answer or the truth. Can we handle the truth :). Surely some must still be alive and living somewhere in the area. Yes?
Coy
I've thought of that myself. There were a lot of people employed there and even after 34 years some of them are bound to still be around. It would be trickier to track down the right sort of people to ask though. You'd need someone who was a supervisor or inspector to get answers to multiple questions of the sort we all have. The guy making hoops 8 hours a day or the lady churning out drum sticks on an automatic lathe could possibly answer questions pertaining to those tasks but likely wouldn't know the answers to the bigger picture questions. Now if you could find the person responsible for wielding the rubber stamp maybe we'd get somewhere.
 

Stretch Riedle

DFO Master
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
3,232
Reaction score
327
Location
Santa Cruz, California
Today I ran across this thread and topic. I'm trying to simply get more info about two drums that are part of a kit. Maybe they were factory matched, but maybe they weren't. 12-13-16-22 Ludwig Oyster Blue [Bowling Ball] kit with B/O badges.
8x12 Serial #923638, sticker with #11717
9x13 Serial #846113, date stamp inside Dec 31 1970
16x16 No Serial #, no sticker or date stamp inside
14x22 Serial #907397, sticker with #11717

I hope this info is useful to the thread. I certainly am nicely confused by it all. Silly stickers just don't make logical sense to me!

Stretch
 

KCDrumDad

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
204
Location
Kansas City
stretch,
You have an interesting collection of characteristics displayed on your set. I do not yet have an explanation for all that variation.
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
Seeing the of a #11717 on two of those drums suddenly made me wonder if Ludwig started reusing the date field for either a particular order number (for a specific kit) or all orders for a particular retail shop (in which case there would be more than a few of the same number but still in different sizes and finishes). It could still be a coded date in the date field and we just haven't decoded the pattern. I dunno. :dontknow:
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
19,915
Reaction score
2,228
Location
Illinois
Seeing the of a #11717 on two of those drums suddenly made me wonder if Ludwig started reusing the date field for either a particular order number (for a specific kit) or all orders for a particular retail shop (in which case there would be more than a few of the same number but still in different sizes and finishes). It could still be a coded date in the date field and we just haven't decoded the pattern. I dunno. :dontknow:
I've brought this up in the past. We don't know for certain that those numbers are even dates just that they were stamped on the line of the sticker that had previously been used, and was originally intended, for a date. I can't think of any reason why they would change to some super-secret unbreakable date coding all of a sudden. What would be the purpose? Particularly since it is highly unlikely that they kept any record of these numbers (they did not keep records of the serial numbers on drums so why track the dates?).


Still the numbers are puzzling and it's especially odd that the number 7 shows up so often (which leads so many to decipher it into a date from the 70's, but, as far as I have seen, there is no consistency that allows one cypher to work for all the stamps to produce a valid date).
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
K.O. said:
Seeing the of a #11717 on two of those drums suddenly made me wonder if Ludwig started reusing the date field for either a particular order number (for a specific kit) or all orders for a particular retail shop (in which case there would be more than a few of the same number but still in different sizes and finishes). It could still be a coded date in the date field and we just haven't decoded the pattern. I dunno. :dontknow:
I've brought this up in the past. We don't know for certain that those numbers are even dates just that they were stamped on the line of the sticker that had previously been used, and was originally intended, for a date. I can't think of any reason why they would change to some super-secret unbreakable date coding all of a sudden. What would be the purpose? Particularly since it is highly unlikely that they kept any record of these numbers (they did not keep records of the serial numbers on drums so why track the dates?).


Still the numbers are puzzling and it's especially odd that the number 7 shows up so often (which leads so many to decipher it into a date from the 70's, but, as far as I have seen, there is no consistency that allows one cypher to work for all the stamps to produce a valid date).
I can confirm that there isn't a consistent pattern which allows the numbers on the paper tags to be decoded as dates. I did some decryption work on Rick's data set earlier on and was able to rule out any date pattern like YYMMDD, MMDDYY, YMMDD, DDMMY, MMYY and so on for all possible combinations. I'm not a world class decryption guy, but I've done enough while writing conversion tools to get data out of proprietary databases where the database vendor was hostile and offered no assistance. :happy11: I also had a look at the digit distribution (another obvious starting point) and nothing obvious there. But there is more data available since then and it might be worth another look. If we do happen to have any experienced cryptography people here that would be great. Otherwise this is likely to remain an enigma (thank you JP).

I come to the of "batch number" from the perspective of the laser stamps on Avedis Zildjian cymbals where the code consists of two portions which we know how to decode (two letter year prefix based on simple substitution, and a sequential suffix) but the central portion of the number is a batch number. The batch number has some of the same properties as the string of digits in the date field on the paper tags:

  • variable length
  • no known decode
  • said to include diameter
  • said to include model (eg Rock vs Medium Ride)
  • said to include line (eg A Series vs K Series)

but I've never gotten to the bottom of that one either. Basically Zildjian say if you contact customer service with a full serial they can decode it for you. In the case of the Zildjian batch number it seems possible that there is no encode/decode system but it's a bit off topic to get into how that works. Let's just say it relies on computer record keeping which is very unlikely to have been in use at Ludwig in the early 70s. Even though I started programming in the late 1960s the machines were too expensive to have been used for simple record keeping the way they are now. They were also as big as houses. :laughing6:
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
19,915
Reaction score
2,228
Location
Illinois
computer record keeping which is very unlikely to have been in use at Ludwig in the early 70s. Even though I started programming in the late 1960s the machines were too expensive to have been used for simple record keeping the way they are now. They were also as big as houses. :laughing6:
I'd agree...Very Unlikely...
 

Attachments

KCDrumDad

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
204
Location
Kansas City
There are a fairly limited number of different Date Codes. They are the same across main line and Standards. They appear in metal and wood shelled drums. I have done a decent job of keeping the list up to date at my website, so that is a fairly complete list of the drums I have seen or which have been reported to me. They could be assembler or inspector related, but I would think there would be more Date Codes if it were customer or order related. Generally when Date Codes are present on multiple drums in a "set" that is together today, they are the same, although this is not universal. There are several examples where multiple different Date Codes are present. Also, there are many examples of sets with some drums with Date Codes and others without. Some are not clearly "factory born-together" but some of them likely are.

I am still looking for the key to the puzzle and appreciate everyone's thoughts and theories. Somebody please figure this out.
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
19,915
Reaction score
2,228
Location
Illinois
Somebody please figure this out.
It's easy Rick, the position of the 7 in the grouping (when added as a negative number to the longitude of the dealer that the drum was destined for) determines the settings of the Enigma coding machine that the Ludwigs had purchased at the Museum of Science and Industry as surplus material from the U-505. This was all an effort to thwart Bud Slingerland's determination to figure out just how many drums Ludwig was shipping out on a given day. Typing in the date code with the proper settings in place on the Enigma will yield a new six digit code which is the number to a safety deposit box in which the actual dates for that day's production are stored. Simple, really.
 

KCDrumDad

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
204
Location
Kansas City
I was having a conversation with a gentleman from Nebraska about paper labels in Ludwig drums. He had seen my website and was interested in spitballing a bit about the possibilities. We did not solve anything, but it got me focusing a little more on the date stamps which appeared on labels. I had done some work on this previously (See post #68 earlier in this thread) but wanted to give it another look. Here is what I observed:

MAIN LINE DRUMS:
For reports of drums with paper labels with date stamps, the following was observed:
Wood Shells -
Number of drums reported in each month:
APR 1971 - 18
MAY 1971 - 10
JUN 1971 - 0
JUL 1971 - 0
AUG 1971 - 0
SEP 1971 - 0
OCT 1971 - 0
NOV 1971 - 0
DEC 1971 - 0
JAN 1972 - 0
FEB 1972 - 0
MAR 1972 - 2

Metal Shells -
Number of drums reported in each month:
APR 1971 - 7
MAY 1971 - 12
JUN 1971 - 12
JUL 1971 - 8
AUG 1971 - 13
SEP 1971 - 14
OCT 1971 - 14
NOV 1971 - 17
DEC 1971 - 9
JAN 1972 - 0
FEB 1972 - 0
MAR 1972 - 0

STANDARDS:
For reports of drums with paper labels with date stamps, the following was observed:
Wood Shells -
Number of drums reported in each month:
MAR 1971 - 3
APR 1971 - 5
MAY 1971 - 4
JUN 1971 - 0
JUL 1971 - 0
AUG 1971 - 0
SEP 1971 - 0
OCT 1971 - 0
NOV 1971 - 0
DEC 1971 - 0
JAN 1972 - 0
FEB 1972 - 0
MAR 1972 - 0

Metal Shells -
Number of drums reported in each month:
APR 1971 - 0
MAY 1971 - 3
JUN 1971 - 4
JUL 1971 - 8
AUG 1971 - 12
SEP 1971 - 0
OCT 1971 - 6
NOV 1971 - 3
DEC 1971 - 2
JAN 1972 - 1
FEB 1972 - 0
MAR 1972 - 0

Based upon the examples I have recorded (136 Main Line and 51 Standards - which is only a small fraction of those likely produced, but is the the best list I know of right now), all of the Ludwig drums with paper labels and date stamps produced in the second half of 1971 have metal shells.

What does this mean? I don't know, but it seems to indicate a change in the procedures for drums with wood shells that has not also made for drums with metal shells. This may or may not relate to the use of Date Codes and may indicate that wood shell drums and metal shell drums were not treated the same in the manufacturing/assembly process. I am going to compare with the data reported in post #68 of this thread and also the raw data to see if anything jumps out and invite everyone following this thread to do the same. Let us know if this helps trigger anything in your minds.
 

Latest posts



Top