Friday, January 2, 2009

Historic Drum in Anoka County History Center

Drum donated by Richard Sorensen to Anoka County History Center (Minnesota)

Although the drum pictured is described as a "huge Revolutionary War drum", judging by the relative size of the drumsticks exhibited with the drum (which one could assume are somewhere in the vicinity of 17 inches in length), the drum is not of the size commonly associated with field drums of the late 18th century (e.g., 20 to 22 inches in diamter and height). Rather the drum appears to be more Civil War era (possibly, although the relatively modern snare strainer, which admittedly could have been added recently, bespeaks early 20th century).

The shell appears to have two (and possibly three) lines of tacks and is accompanied by a Civil War style neck sling. The rope is also machine made (20th century).

The tacks appear to be iron, rather than copper so the shell could be (probably is) older than the sling, rope and snare mechanism. It appears that over the years, this drum has received "upgrades" to keep it playable which suggests that it may have seen a fair amount of use by a number of different drummers.

1 comment:

  1. A newspaper article from the Los Angeles Herald on September 9, 1900 traces the manufacture of this drum back to 1756, when it was made in Berlin, for the Hessians. The drum was captured in 1777 at the Battle of Saratoga by the great-grandfather of Robert Bain, who carried it through the Civil war in the Fifth Iowa Infantry.


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P.R. Winn, Drummaker

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