YES or NO: The oldest "NEW" Ludwig and Ludwig Brass Snare...

Commodore

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Around 1911-12 one (or both) of the Ludwig brothers took an unbranded prototype of their latest snare drum creation over to Chicago's oldest and largest music store; Lyon and Healy.
Lyon and Healy had previously sold the brother's Drum Pedal and other products. The brothers were likely interested in Lyon and Healy's help in marketing their new METAL snare drum.

NOTE: The average wooden snare of the time was 10"+ Brass shell suppliers of the time could only work hoops up to 4". The only way to have a taller drum was by making it a two piece, as is this drum.

The attached photographs are of that exact drum. Management at Lyon and Healy were obviously impressed enough with this product to place it into their archive. Fast forward 65 years, Lyon and Healy was primarily a harp manufacturer. Somebody in management no longer thought of archiving all of the old drums and sold them to Young's Music House in Ft. Wayne Indiana. Young kept this one in a personal collection for another 40 years. This particular drum had been sold to yet another music store and to another (7 years ago) from whom I acquired it.

I haven't opened it, yet it came from a music store and was never retailed ...so it may still qualify as new. ;)

The attached pictures were made by the final retail music store. I hope you enjoy!
 
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JDA

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great informative story.

you got three threads going on one drum brother! : D
consolidate !
 

Commodore

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There actually are 3:
s-l1600-38.jpg
s-l1600-48.jpg

This one, a 1941 Universal (one year only) 6.5 brass snare and a 1937 (prototype Aluminum Lyre) 2 piece brass shell WFL snare
 
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Commodore

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wait, you know this about the drum and you were actually thinking of drilling/modifying it?!?!
Didn't know then...
It gets worse!

William F. Ludwig started WFL Drums in 1937 using the same supplier of brass shells ...which he then painted black. All the brass shells used by WFL, Leedy and Ludwig are made by one company in Indiana. The drum (above right, without the black) is prototype to later one-piece aluminum shells.
The Lyre badge and it's strainer are unique... An aluminum badge was the sample tooling for a larger order of brass badges... The throw-off is different from later ones ...and butt states patent pending.
The 6 1/2 inch Universal model (above left) was the first of a new brass shell design and introduced in late 1941; a one year only model ...with WWII ending production, FOREVER.


Can't modify a one!
 
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Bijan

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Not sure sure about this. There are Ludwig&Ludwig brass shelled drums with no bead, and I’ve had tube lug, heavy brass drums that had tube lugs that sat flat on the shell, no cup washers needed. I’m not sure that that Lyon snare pre-dates both of those drums.
 
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Commodore

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Not sure sure about this. There are Ludwig&Ludwig brass shelled drums with no bead, and I’ve had tube lug, heavy brass drums that had tube lugs that sat flat on the shell, no tube lugs needed. I’m not sure that that Lyon snare pre-dates both of those drums.
I understand your skepticism, I've edited/refined the evidence. Please post yours! Basically, you have to look at Patent dates. The drum above has an earlier (1908) Patent Date. There are none earlier...

1.The two piece brass shells are made by a specialized outside company. The middle seam is there because, early on, the fabricator didn't have tooling that could handle any wider material...
It was easier to roll the edge and join two pieces. The brass shell is not made by Ludwig and Ludwig. Shells are contracted from outside contractors.

2. The Mills style shells certainly seem more primitive (they are cheaper to produce) but all of them are badged with later Ludwig and Ludwig badging and later style strainers. The above snare is pre-badging and is not even engraved Luwig and Ludwig. All others of this style are engraved, most are engraved "Ludwig and Ludwig"...

3. My 1937 Lyre "aluminum" badge WFL drum predates the very rare (1937 only) brass Lyre badge. (Aluminum is often used for design approval before finalizing dies to brass.) The aluminum badge is early. ...No badging at all, would be very early. No Badging nor any engraving of the shell with manufacturers name is a likely very early. The Mills type drums has Ludwig badging. This occurred much later in the timeline.
 
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Commodore

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Yeah, not buying this story for a second.
Well, I'm old enough to have known the Ludwig brothers. ;)

1. I know they would build the best product they could ...and then later on produce simpler designs to lower the price point if necessary. Also, The subject drum's strainer is the first known, patented in 1908.
2. The Ludwigs were quite fond of this design. It was in their catalog from the get-go, and offered for decades. This particular snare was archived at L&H for a reason ...it is an important piece, it meant something to many.
3. When William F. Ludwig started WFL Drums, this was the first design shell he brought to market. They'd long used two piece brass shells from an outside vendor...
 
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1988fxlr

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Well, I'm old enough to have known the Ludwig brothers.
1. They would build the best product they could, and then find designs to lower the price point if necessary.
2. The Ludwigs were quite fond of this design. It was in their catalog from the get-go, and unchanged for decades. It was archived at L&H for a reason ...it was important.
3. When William F. Ludwig started WFL Drums, this was the first design shell he brought to market.
You’re old enough to have known Theo?
 

Commodore

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OK, what you cite (without evidence. pictures or whatever) as being the earlier model ...has a separately applied Ludwig and Ludwig badge. The Ludwig brothers would not spend the time and money to design an expensive badge and not include it on a "top line model" ...like this one. Then too, larger Mercedes badges are used on the cheaper models The badge pictured below came years after my drum was produced.

The strainer patent on my drum is 1908 ...The strainer patent is owned and was invented by their brother-in-law. Robert C. Danly. Danly was in the metal forming business. The two piece drum was developed before the less desirable, and shallower 4" one piece drum.

The 1912 catalog features the smooth side "Mills" design (that you state must be older) with a strainer marked "Patent Pending." PATENT PENDING IN 1912
ludwig_1912_6_th.jpg
ludwig_1912_5_th.jpg
Smooth side design is limited in depth because of the materials of the time ...Sorry for this being so insistent. :)
 
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Commodore

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There is a corroboration of the provenance:

The Young's Music Co link to the above story:
s-l1600-61.jpg
s-l1600-63.jpg


This is also a likely 1911 Ludwig and Ludwig produced drum in great original condition.
As Young's was founded decades later ...it could be part of the 1970's Lyon & Healy deaccession that included the subject drum.
 
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