Thursday, July 16, 2009

Possibly the Ugliest Drum Ever -- WFL's WWII Wood Drum

eBay Seller mattrinc ( 778) has item no. 200363443199 posted with an appropriate starting price of $9.99 (no reserve), described as follows:

Unusual, and rare, World War II era WFL Ludwig marching snare. Recognizable from it's sticker, NOT METAL, badge, and the use of the most minimal amount of metal possible. Drum is in heavily used condition, with knicks and dings etc.; none extremely major, but these are consistent throughout. I did sucessfully remove the wood top hoop to get and shot of the inner workings of the drum, and also to see if a new modern style drum head could be applied to this drum. The old calfskin top head has a tear in it and would need to be replaced. The tuning is achieved by adjusting the tension of bent wooden slats that adjust both bottom and top heads at the same time. I checked each to see that the screws weren't stripped, and the wood slats weren't cracked. I cannot guarantee complete tuning accuracy with this type of "antique" tuning mechanism, but you sohould be somewhat able to replace the head and be able to use the drum if you've had some experience with older drums.

DEPTH: 12.25"
HOOP SIZE: 1.125"


W. Lee Vinson writes:

Maybe I'm just missing a sense of humor but I disagree with the title of this posting. The predominantly wooden drums of the WWII era are to me every bit as significant as the eagle drums of the Civil War - even if they didn't play a major role on the battle field.

Not only is the appearance of the WFL 'Victorious' drums striking (aka ugly), but the tuning system was highly innovative albeit marginally functional and ultimately ill-fated (see Leedy & Ludwig's knob tension drums of the early - mid 1950s).

I have one of these WFL Victorious drums in my personal collection and it is an instrument that everyone remembers once they've seen it. There is an excellent picture of Bill Ludwig II with one of these drums published in Paul Schmidt's History of the Ludwig Drum Company too. I always open the book to that page when showing the drum because it makes such a powerful connection.

Then again, maybe the only reason my friends remember this one is because it's so ugly... Regardless, thanks for the posting!

And for the record, the badge is metal. It's made of very thin, soft aluminum and is attached to the shell like a sticker.


1 comment:

  1. My dad gave me his drum he used during high school that would of been in the early 40's. I am trying to find out what it's worth is. It is made of all wood even has wood in which the the tension rods go through.It is Ludwig and Ludwig. If you have any info. please contact me at . Thanks


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 ...