I get emails all of the time with a basic drum description and a serial number from visitors in hopes I can unlock the history of their drum. I think in general serial numbers do play an important role in the commercial market especially electronics and other high end items. In the 60’s Insurance companies made it mandatory that serial numbers be put on items so they can be documented. Unfortunately drum companies never really prescribed to any code of documenting a drum based on that serial number. In fact I once heard that they started using serial numbers not for their own use per say but so schools and institutions could keep track of instruments in inventory. I also get people asking what factory a drum might have shipped from or the exact month a drum was made or even the production numbers etc.
Ludwig Acrolite Serial Number Dating
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Welcome to The Ludwig Drum Experts! We are here to answer your Ludwig drum history questions. There is an entire section devoted to Ludwig Drums, including the history of Ludwig Drums, drum badges , drum finishes and catalog pages on their snare drums as well as drum sets. As always, we are learning and researching and adding new items to this web site, like our rare and never seen Ludwig Factory Videos from !
Search our Network of Sites! Connect Online! Ludwig Drum Badges With permission from vintagedrumguide. Side note: Why did Ludwig like the Keystone shape? There were other companies that used the keystone in advertising and logos. The Keystone is the strongest stone in an arch and the middle point between the left and right side.
Ludwig drum serial number dating
One of the intriguing aspects of collecting vintage drums is discovering when your instrument was made. But unlikely as it may seem, the broadcast of one television show in early played an unwitting role in helping to date more closely one particular brand of drum. It was the day the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their television debut ushered in not only a new era for rock and roll, but something more.
Prompted by the insurance industry, the new regulation mandated serial numbers on certain goods including drums. Our dealers begged us to put them on, so we had our badge manufacturer imprint sequential numbers on the badges for all of our drums.
This tells me it’s a through snare drum. But it has Rick Gier’s book Serial Number Based Dating Guides for Vintage Ludwig Drums.
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Dating your Ludwig
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The serial number is Can anyone date that?
Many of the snare stands, foot pedals, and drum hardware still bore the imprint of WFL, while some bore the pre Ludwig trademark but continued to be sold while the company made new dies bearing the Ludwig Drum Company logo. Many snare drums were built with the new Ludwig strainer on the throw-off side and a WFL butt-plate. Since the design of the parts was identical for both names, Ludwig used the old parts until they ran out, and then replaced them with identical parts with the new brand.
The same rule held true for badges to some extent. When William F. Shortly after the purchase of the Ludwig name, the decision was made to change the name to the Ludwig Drum Company. They were strictly for inventory purposes, and any number could wind up on any drum. Due to the volume of drums Ludwig was producing at that time in response to the Ringo effect, a lot of badges were used and the bins were refilled as supplies got low.
Another method of dating most Ludwig drums is the rubber-stamped date on the inside the shell. The dates are frequently smeared beyond the point of recognition, but by observing the ink color, you can approximate from which half of the decade your drum comes. One explanation for this is that the company put badges on the shells after applying their covering.
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Visit our Network of Drumming Websites Search our Network of Sites! Connect Online! Links and resources for Vistalite Drums:. Ludwig Vistalite Links.
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Chaotic Creativity: Ludwig Kits In The ‘60s
Remember Me? Results 1 to 5 of 5. Thread: Ludwig Black Beauty shell stamp. Registered User. Ludwig Black Beauty shell stamp On the inside of my 5″x14″ Ludwig Black Beauty there a black ink stamping on the shell that reads what does this indicate? I bought it new from GC Boston in , It has the letter B stamped into outer side of the shell over the tone control knob that I believe indicates that it’s a brass shell.
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Made of brass, these drums featured hand-engraved ornamentation and came in a variety of coloured enamel choices. Most ostentatious was a gold-plated option dubbed the Triumphal model. Ultimately though, the black model proved to be most popular. Information on how long they were in production for is difficult to obtain, but Ludwig was still making them in the s. This was apparently a cost decision.
BBs were not to appear in Ludwig catalogues again until , this time with bronze shells. I purchased my BB a few years ago from an eBay seller who, as far as I know, had owned it from new. He was clearing out his rehearsal studio and apparently his BB was surplus to requirements. Unfortunately, the drum that arrived on my doorstep was far from pretty. The heads were wrecked, the rims were rusty and the throw was inoperable. Worst of all, the shell was covered in a crispy residue that resembled dried snot.
Good luck with that.
How To Date 1960’s Ludwig Drums by Serial Numbers
This section was taken with written consent from vintagedrumguide. Here are some references you can use to date by serial number. The web site link is available so feel free to visit their web sites and learn more. I only put them in one location to make it easier for people to get the information.
Ludwig brought that badge back on a lot of new snares, so it could dont jive with my serial numbers, not even close, I don’t see any date.
The evolution of Ludwig hardware is a detailed and multi-faceted story. For this reason and the aforementioned trend of updating vintage drums, hardware will not be covered in this guide. Date stamps are simultaneously the best and worst means to properly date a Ludwig drum from the ’60s use of the date stamp was discontinued ca.
A drum was stamped when the shell was finished, providing the most accurate depiction of the age of wood due to the fact final assembly came later. The difficulty in date stamps is, more often than not, that the stamp has been rendered illegible or removed completely due to the wear and tear of the years. Aside from the exact date printed on the shell, the color of ink used will assist in identifying the era of the drum and indicate the possibility of forgery.