Monday, June 2, 2008

The "Streetor Drum" by William S. Tompkins at the Missouri Historical Society -- a Photo Essay

Wm. C. Streetor / Co. F 7th Inf'y E.M.M. / July, 1863
(Collection of the Missouri Historical Society)

These photos were generously provided by Jeff Meyers, Associate Curator, Missouri Historical Society. We have here photos of an original William S. Tompkins presentation drum from the collection of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis. (For another article in this blog on Tompkins' drums including this one, see Tompkins 1860-1863 Masterpiece Drums -- Where Are They Now? from which some of the discussion of this drum is taken.)

Note: E.M.M. stands for Enrolled Missouri Militia. Click here for a brief history of the E.M.M.

The drum has a silver plate on its face engraved “W.S. TOMPKINS / MAKER / YONKERS, NY”.

Also, inside the shell is handwritten in script “Wm. S. Tompkins & Sons / Makers / Yonkers, N.Y. / Drums of all sizes made to order / June 1st / 1863”.

Who was Wm. C. Streetor?

Sgt. Major Wm. C. Streetor's service record states that Sgt. Major Wm. C. Streetor was transferred from the 7th to the 13th Reg't, E.M.M. Sept. 25, 1864 in St. Louis and relieved of duty Nov. 3, 1864. The service record is online at the Missouri Secretary of State's website, Soldiers Database: War of 1812 - World War I, Record Group: Office of Adjutant General; Series Title: Record of Service Card, Civil War, 1861-1865; Box 80; Reel: s774.

The Snare Mechanism -- Original or "After Market"?

I am puzzled about whether the snare mechanism is original equipment.

Holes in the top rim:

The holes in the top counterhoop could be the result of a once-present military carry (after-market), or a snare mechanism (if the top counterhoop once served on the bottom of the drum). Or could those holes be from the compression portion of a snare mechanism, as below?

Troughs in the top Counterhoop:

Another mystery -- what are the troughs in the top counterhoop?

Robin Engelman of Toronto, Ontario, Canada emailed me June 21, 2008 with a possible answer:

"Dear Ellis,

I visited your web site today and was delighted by the presentation of
the materials I sent you. ***

Another reason for writing was to take a guess as to why the two troughs appear on the hoop of the Streetor Drum. Perhaps the drummer simply put his sticks in those grooves while otherwise unemployed. Of course the troughs would have to be logically placed to allow this when the drum was slung and they would have to be big enough to hold a normal pair of sticks.

Possible Assembly Error:

What is that metal (brass?) attachment on the top of the counter hoop? Sure looks like the bottom of a screw-type snare mechanism. If it is the bottom of a screw-type snare mechanism, it doesn't belong there (it belongs on the bottom counter-hoop facing inward; in every example we've seen, Tompkins' red, white (in this case clear) and blue counter hoops had red on the outside, white (or clear) in the middle and blue on the inside moving longitudinally along the vertical axis). Here the paint pattern would tell us that the counterhoops are installed correctly. Could it be that someone attached the bottom of a Civil War era snare mechanism upside down and confused the top with the bottom counter hoop?

1 comment:

Please add to our knowledge by leaving a comment here.

P.R. Winn, Drummaker

An article by W. Lee Vinson, author and publisher of and . For Lee's story about ...