Rogers Powertone/Powerlites

GrandpaCleve

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So a while back I came across this aluminum shell Powertone. It has some numbers etched into the shell under the script that doesn't make any sense to me. Then this year another aluminum Powertone popped up and I had to own it. The first one has a serial number of 21,319. This new one has a serial number of 21,095. They are both Dayton tagged drum with a Powertone inner paper tag. The difference in weight of the shells from a brass regular shell down to the script and grommet is 1.55 lbs (according to the scale at the ups store). They sound a little brighter than a regular brass shell drum. If we are going with the theory that they grabbed the paper tags from a box then the difference of 224 more aluminum shells doesn't make sense to surface. Wondering if any forumites have a Dayton tag in between these 2 numbers? I don't doubt that more will surface over time. As 2 are proof in the pudding so to speak that The corp. of CBS was experimenting with a lighter shell to cut costs of production. If anybody has a COB Powertone has a drum in between these numbers I would be curious. Regardless it does exists and that will only lead to more to surface. What say you forumites? Anybody posses a Powertone that falls between these numbers? Rogers for thought...
 

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deegeebee

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Think I might have one, but it is at the jam space so will have to wait till next week to weigh it and check the S/N, thought it was lower than those you have. How much do your aluminum ones weigh? Brass ones?

Mine is a well loved "player" condition. The reasons I suspected mine as being aluminum is that it was not as heavy as I expected and it has been drilled here and there a few extra holes and the metal under the chrome and flakes looke like aluminum and not brass, also not magnetic. Reasons I was not so sure were that it didn't seem as light as the ludwig aluminum drums I have owned or have quite the same throaty aluminum honk I remember. Also no evidence of chrome flaking, which I associate with chromed aluminum. I don't have any other aluminum or brass drums to compare at the moment.

What are you basing your ID on, just weight?

Should I expect to see something that looks yellow like brass under the chrome where it has been drilled if it is brass?
 

GrandpaCleve

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Thanks for chiming in. A magnet does not stick at all to the shell. Also it is a shade off from the chrome lugs and other hardware. There is contrast in the following pic. I don't know the weight of each one just wrote down the difference of 1.55 when I took it to the ups store. Please do follow through with a serial number when you can. An earlier one would prove that they were random tags. Does anybody have a chrome one with a Dayton tag between 21,319 and 21,095?
 

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deegeebee

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Oh, so it is not chromed, just polished Alu? Mine is definitely chromed. Is it possible that it is brass even though the inside of the holes and flakes of metal are matte grey?
 

GrandpaCleve

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Sorry I don't know about your Powertone. Found my notes and the shell with grommet and script logo weighed in at 4.20 for a chrome over brass and 2.65 for the aluminum one.
 

lcondo123

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You have both an aluminum and brass Powertone snares. Rogers experimented with aluminum (and steel) shells for their Powertone snares in the latter half of the 1960's. I do believe that Rogers historian Jeff Burke estimates that these aluminum and steel shells were produced with the serial numbers on the tag being anywhere from 20xxx-25xxx. Both your drums are right in that range with 21xxx. Nice find!
 

GrandpaCleve

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Thanks! I know Jeff Burke. He is saved in my phone. I now remember who Jeff is and what I sold him.
 
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GrandpaCleve

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Spoke to Jeff today and he has found numerous steel shells on Dayton Powertones early Fullerton Power Tones. He mentioned that early Dayton tagged 16K-17K would be brass left over from Covington/Cleveland era stock. The question now is, "Does anybody have a Dayton tagged Powertone that is chrome over brass shell?" Anybody...
 
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deegeebee

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Spoke to Jeff today and he has found numerous steel shells on Dayton Powertones early Fullerton Power Tones. He mentioned that early Dayton tagged 16K-17K would be brass left over from Covington/Cleveland era stock. The question now is, "Does anybody have a Dayton tagged Powertone that is chrome over brass shell?" Anybody...
Did he have any record of chrome over aluminum powertones?
 

lcondo123

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Did he have any record of chrome over aluminum powertones?
nope. Just chrome over steel.
He does have a record of the aluminum and steel shells, it's the serial number range I mentioned above.

The Dayton era Powertones with brass shells are identical to the "Cleveland" tagged ones simply because they were made in the same Covington factory, the only difference is the acquisition of the company by CBS and the relocation of the HQ from Cleveland to Dayton. What he means by the 16xxx-17xxx is that those very early Dayton era shells were made when the company was still in the "Cleveland" era, they just have the new "Dayton" tags on them. Once those were used up, new brass shells were used - it's just a use-up of a surplus of stock.

The aluminum and steel Powertones were experiments from the late Dayton era. Powertones were always advertised as brass, and up until they were discontinued before the SuperTens came out, they were always brass. The aluminum and steels ones were anomalies. It's much more common to find a Dayton tagged PT that's brass, as almost all of them were - but the aluminum ones do pop up. We really don't know how many were made, but the aluminum ones are easy to spot because of the difference in depth of the chrome, in comparison to the brass and steel shells. I see them pop up every once in a while, and I know a few people that own them. The steel ones are harder to spot since they look more like the brass shells.

But, yeah. That's about all there is on your aluminum PT. Serial number range 20xxx-25xxx, we don't know how many in total were made, but we know based on the numbers that they were late-era Dayton-tagged drums. They're on the rarer side of things, but they don't bring much more money than regular ones just because they're so unknown. Enjoy it!

Just to provide evidence, here's a brass PT for sale right now on Reverb. Brass shell, Dayton tag with the number 23xxx, right in the middle of where you would find the steel and aluminum shells: https://reverb.com/item/29318880-rogers-powertone-5x14-cob-snare
 
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GrandpaCleve

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I changed my reply to add Jeff knowing about the aluminum shells. Jeff was wondering where the shells were supplied from. He tried Grossman Music but they didn't know or have record of this. I tried to call Bob Curtner, plant manager from the Covington era to the Dayton era, but his phone number is no longer valid. I hope he is o.k. We both thought the shells were out sourced not made at the Rogers factory. So now we know that you said that there are chrome over brass Dayton Powertones as well as aluminum and steel. Thanks for adding this information.
 
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GrandpaCleve

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I interviewed Bob "Curt" Curter about 10 years ago when I was in OH. Just spoke to Jerry Sheilds to ask about the metal Powertone shells. He confirmed that they weren't made at the factory they were out sourced. He did mention that Bob passed away last year. Very sad to hear that. He loved his OH football and I sat in his man cave full of football memorabilia as we chatted away about time past. He had a skinny drum and Mardi Gras bongos. Mentioned that he sold his clear interior double bass Mardi kit a while back. He had some gold plated Rogers keys that he gave out to some of the factory workers. He shared his. Glad to hear that Jerry is keeping busy on the computer sites to answer questions. Very sad to hear about Bob though...glad I interviewed him when I did. He was very informative. R.I.P Curt.

I asked the seller on reverb if a magnet sticks to the COB shell and here is his response, "
Message from Garrett Cameron:
Magnet does not stick to the shell because it's COB, not steel." So it's not COB.
 
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GrandpaCleve

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He does have a record of the aluminum and steel shells, it's the serial number range I mentioned above.

The Dayton era Powertones with brass shells are identical to the "Cleveland" tagged ones simply because they were made in the same Covington factory, the only difference is the acquisition of the company by CBS and the relocation of the HQ from Cleveland to Dayton. What he means by the 16xxx-17xxx is that those very early Dayton era shells were made when the company was still in the "Cleveland" era, they just have the new "Dayton" tags on them. Once those were used up, new brass shells were used - it's just a use-up of a surplus of stock.

The aluminum and steel Powertones were experiments from the late Dayton era. Powertones were always advertised as brass, and up until they were discontinued before the SuperTens came out, they were always brass. The aluminum and steels ones were anomalies. It's much more common to find a Dayton tagged PT that's brass, as almost all of them were - but the aluminum ones do pop up. We really don't know how many were made, but the aluminum ones are easy to spot because of the difference in depth of the chrome, in comparison to the brass and steel shells. I see them pop up every once in a while, and I know a few people that own them. The steel ones are harder to spot since they look more like the brass shells.

But, yeah. That's about all there is on your aluminum PT. Serial number range 20xxx-25xxx, we don't know how many in total were made, but we know based on the numbers that they were late-era Dayton-tagged drums. They're on the rarer side of things, but they don't bring much more money than regular ones just because they're so unknown. Enjoy it!

Just to provide evidence, here's a brass PT for sale right now on Reverb. Brass shell, Dayton tag with the number 23xxx, right in the middle of where you would find the steel and aluminum shells: https://reverb.com/item/29318880-rogers-powertone-5x14-cob-snare
Magnet will not stick to stainless steel either (in most cases).
But should stick to the brass ones(in most cases).
 

tommykat1

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Gramps, my 5" Powertone is S/N 19161 and is COB. Sorry I can't help.
 


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