Dating vintage gretsch drums
magazine) One of the intriguing aspects of collecting vintage drums is discovering when your instrument was made.
Estimating the age of a drum can be done more or less by examining its badge type, style of hardware, shell construction/composition and interior/exterior finish.
The serial numbers increased as their corresponding date stamps moved forward in time.
In a recent conversation with Jack Lawton, restoration specialist and owner of the Lawton Drum Company (Sudbury, PA.), I discovered by chance that Jack had, over a 10 year period, also developed a serial number index like ours. To our mutual relief, we found that the serial numbers and date stamps corresponded with one another and that the sequence of the serial numbers in both indexes followed the same general path through time.
This new surge in Ludwig’s production and sales coincided with a new government regulation enacted at about the same time (The regulation was brought to our attention by drum historian/insurance agent, Harry Cangany).
These overlapping events would intertwine to have a direct effect on the collecting and dating of 1960’s Ludwig drums.
Though in actuality, the way to pin down the elusive age of these drums would call more for the sharp pencil of a record keeper than the skill of a Sherlock Holmes.Gretsch book Rob Cook spent 3 days recently in New Jersey with John Sheridan collaborating on the Gretsch drum book.The tome is starting to take shape; the manuscript already fills two large ring binders and their are over 2700 digital files filling over 16 gigabytes of hard drive.As our record keeping continued and more serial numbers and dates were added to the index, the correlation between them became increasingly evident.
Although we did find some discrepancies in this correlation – which we’ll discuss later in this article – a general pattern emerged.As always, we are learning and researching and adding new items to this web site.Since we can't list it all here, our Vintage Drum Guide houses all the research and history on Gretsch Drums and that is the place to gain more information about your drums!There are a lot of ways to pinpoint a range of dates in determining the age of your drums.