Thursday, February 25, 2010

Civil War Vets Playing Fife and Drum

Thanks go to ANONYMOUS for including this in his terrific blog researching original sources to determine authentic rudimental drumming from the Civil War era:

Have we found a drummer from the 79th NYVI?

Have we found a drummer from the 79th NYVI?
by Andy Redmond

I [Andy Redmond] received the following from Tim Sullivan:

“His full name was William Porter Adams, born September 14, 1828 in Onondaga County, New York. He died on November 30, 1915 in New Sharon, Iowa, where his descendants lived and married into my own Sullivan family. He had a son named Clark. Clark's daughter Ada married my great-grandfather Walter in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Clark inherited the drum and passed it on to Ada, who left it to my great-uncle George, who gave it to my grandfather. My grandfather gave it to me when I showed interest in family history. He told me the family oral tradition that William Porter (Adams) was a drum-maker, and had been a drummer himself in the Civil War. All for me to find was what regiment William was a member of. A search revealed that the only drummer named William Adams in the Civil War had been a member of the 79th New York, Company I.”

I [Andy Redmond] thank Tim Sullivan and his family for the information and photos and offer some observations.

According to my research, there were over 40 William Adams’ listed in New York and only one listing for drummer (Co. I, 79th NY Inf.) The result is by no means proof positive that this particular William Adams is one in the same with our 79th drummer. There is a William P. Adams (Co. G, 40th NY Inf.) however, the info. lists him as a Pvt. From my past experience, there have been musicians of all stripes that were incorrectly identified so it is difficult to have any certainty.

Further, looking at Adams birthplace, Onondaga County is north-central New York, nowhere near New York City. If he enlisted close to home, there were many fine regiments raised closer than Manhattan, the principal area of enlistment for the 79th NYVI. (Onondaga County regiments included the 3d, 12th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 86th, 101st, 122d, 149th, 176th, 179th, 185th, 187th, 193d &194th.) A William Adams served in two of them, highlighted in bold type. So, is Wm. Adams a veteran of an Onondaga unit or, would our William Adams have traveled to New York City to enlist?

Also, the William Adams in question was born in 1828 making him 33 years of age at the outbreak of the Civil War, quite “old” to enlist and be ranked as a “drummer”, a pay grade lower than that of private. Perhaps he was principal musician or an instructor but, there is, of yet, no information to back this up.

Interestingly, it is William Adams age and claimed drum-maker assertion that supports the notion that he may have been a drummer in the 79th NYVI. The band of the 79th, led by Wm. Robertson, was considered among the finest in the country at the time and, if our William Adams traveled to NYC to make drums, would Adams be enticed to join if, for no other reason, to be around good musicians? I know…it’s a stretch…so, let’s follow our Mr. Adams into the years following the Civil War. After re-locating to Iowa, Adams was a member and active participant in the National Association of Civil War Musicians. From all accounts I have read, this organization was composed of fine fifers and drummers, performing at many G.A.R. functions and continuing the old traditions while composing new tunes and drum settings. Also, I have been told, a requirement for membership was military service in a music capacity. If so, judging by the two photos, William Adams was a drummer, no doubt.

My conclusion: Although his unit ordinal is not yet known for certain, William Porter Adams was a drummer during the Civil War. He was an active member of a veteran’s music organization and possessed the drum that is featured in the following photos. For now, it is enough that Mr. Adams used his musical talent to serve his country in a time of great crisis and later, performed martial music with the veterans and for the veterans.

ca. 1930 Ludwig & Ludwig

eBay seller emirsky2 ( 195) (me) sold eBay item no. 180459675428 for $125.00, described as follows:

Vintage early 20th century Ludwig & Ludwig parade or field snare drum (16-1/2" outer diameter x 13" height from edge to edge of the counterhoops) with classic Ludwig oval badge and period (possibly original) wire-wound red cloth snares (not gut). Everything is original or true to the period. All wood shell, flesh hoops and counter hoops.

Classic oval badge reads:

Ludwig (in stylized outline script)
(scrolls on either side or and under the vent hole)

Single tension (rods tighten to compress counterhoops against flesh hoops to tighten both heads at the same time) classic faucet (bottom) and single claw (top) rods. All circular attachment covers are stamped with the Ludwig name.

Batter (top) head is marked with crayon as if a child was allowed to mark it. Snare (bottom) head is ripped and useless. Light rust over most/all metal parts. An easy project drum that with a little time and minimal expense (new 16" batter head needed) can be made to shine.

Comes with wood flesh hoops and small military carry.

Ludwig & Ludwig was formed in 1909 or 1910 by William and brother Theo Ludwig; sold to C.G. Conn in 1929. William F. Ludwig Drum Co. was incorporated in 1937 and changed its name to WFL in 1939. In 1950 C.G. Conn Co. merged the Leedy Co. and Ludwig and Ludwig to form Leedy and Ludwig. So it appears that the name "Ludwig & Ludwig" could have been used on drums at any time between 1910 or so and 1950. My guess is that this drum is ca. 1930 +/- 5 years.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Probably a Civil War Period (or earlier) Drum

Seller weiderman_gallery ( 4158) is offering eBay item no. 320489289886 described as follows:

This is a Great, Rare, Early, Original field/marching drum. This wonderful Old piece has a Great, Early look, is made of wood, has both heads intact, measures approx. 17" x 12", is unmarked, we believe is from the Civil War era and would be a wonderful addition to any collection. This appears to be in Very Good, Crisp condition and displays MUCH better than the pictures show.

[Ed. Note: I titled this as "Probably a Civil War (or earlier) Drum" because it bears some of the same features as some drums of that period:
a. dimensions
b. leather pulls
c. snare mechanism
d. color scheme

The several rings attached to the top counterhoop as well as the ring attached to the bottom counter hoop are a mystery to me. The placement on the top counterhoop to the right of the snare mechanism adjuster suggests possible use as strap attachment points, leaving the snare mechanism high on the drummer's left side within reach of the left hand.

However, that is just a guess. If you have any information or another point of view, please let us know.]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Conducting Research into Musical Instrument History

I found this article to be particularly useful and interesting. The author has extensive experience researching the history of musical instruments. We, as amateurs, can learn a great deal from following his advice.

By Peter H. Adams
July 2008


The following suggestions are offered for people interested in conducting research into musical instrument history. My background in researching antique musical instruments includes two books on the subject[*] (check out Ebay), articles published in scholarly journals, and a recently completed index of The Musical Courier, which should be published in 2009 by Scarecrow Press.[**]

To begin conducting research, I strongly suggest acquiring a portable computer and a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. The computer will be a great help in organizing, storing, and writing up your research. The book will help you structure your writing so that it flows logically and the style is consistent throughout. Publishers, teachers, and readers are not interested in poorly organized writings no matter how well researched.

Let’s talk software. Microsoft’s Word program is not the most user friendly software but it is just fine for writing. It also allows you to position images in your text. I also strongly suggest buying a copy of a graphics editing program like Photoshop Elements. This program will help you scan images into your computer (assuming you have a scanner or camera) and allow you to edit the images. For the serious researcher who will be using many images, FileMaker is an absolutely great program. You can store data and images on the same page in a database format. All these programs are available on the Mac and PC and are relatively easy to learn. If you are going to use photographs, buy a digital camera and perhaps some lights. Six megapixls or higher are best when choosing which camera to buy. Because of the learning curve with cameras, consider taking a few classes on how to use your camera. Photographing three dimensional polished objects can be tricky. I even own several scanners one for use at home and one for use at the public library (more about that below).

Save every reference you find. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to go back and redo my research because I’ve mislaid my notes. Store your information in a logical manner. Each research project will require thinking about how the data will best be stored. For example, if you are researching a person, you might want to organize your research by chronology with cross references to locations where the person lived and worked. Naming files with meaningful names is also critical.

The field of organology (musical instrument history) is a relatively new one, being little more than 100 years old. The methods for conducting any type of research into historic topics always begin the same way. Start with the Internet and then go to an institution like libraries, museums and historical associations. Most of the important research that has been conducted is not available online and never will be. This is true too for original documents. However, by beginning with the Internet, you will get a sense of what has been written and learn what key terms you will need to research.

Now, onto the Internet: do not expect that using an online search engine like Google will give you all the information out there. Accuracy is another critical problem with the Internet. Use Google and Yahoo for beginning your online search. Some university libraries have more powerful search engines for their online catalog. But you might need a password to gain access to some of these search engines. Consider taking a college class if only to acquire such a password.

Google’s patent search function is a great resource. Don’t be surprised to find that you discover something nobody has reported. The Patent Office’s document files are simply massive. Think “as big as the National Debt” and you would be close to guessing how many millions of patents the PTO has on file. Google’s search engine is a great resource for searching this database. But search by patent number if you have it, then names of people, and instrument. You must search all because the PDF files of the patents have been scanned and electronically indexed. This means that garbled data makes searching a problem. Even so, Google’s search engine is vastly superior to the Patent Office’s own search engines. I can only hope that Google gets such positive feedback about this database that it will do the same for all the countries of the world. That would be an incredible resource.

Currently, the single most important published source of general musical history is The New Grove Dictionary of Music and its off-shoot The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. These encyclopedic dictionaries are available at most large libraries. Several foreign language encyclopedias also exist, but have not been updated as often as NGDM. For wind instruments (brass and wood wind) The New Langwill Index is an absolute must for biographical information. It costs about $150 and is available from Tony Bingham in England. The Galpin Society Journal and The Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society are the two most important periodicals in the English language. Die Zeitschrift fur fűr Instrumentenbau is an older publication and contains untold information about all manner of instrument makers mainly in Germanic Europe. This publication is rarely found in the U.S., but a good reference librarian might find it on microfilm. After examining these works, you should have a good introduction to the subject. But even these publications do not include all the important information. So, some serious digging is in order. I, and others, have posted information on under “Research that needs to be conducted” in order to help people find research topics.

Repositories of historic documents are the most important resource. More and more, information from these institutions are coming online. Even so, much information is hiding on institution’s shelves, especially miscataloged material or material that was never cataloged. So, here is where the serious digging begins. Online card catalogs are a great help in locating publications and documents, but only when the institution’s staff has cataloged the material and put the catalogs online. Small historical associations are the worst for cataloging their holdings and putting their catalogs online. You will surely need to make an appointment to gain access to small historical societies.

Historical societies almost always have very limited hours, and the staff does not always know what they have. Begin by calling the society and asking for hours and possible restrictions to the library or archive. If you get lucky, you might find an historical society that has a librarian or archivist. Try to talk to that person and BE CONSIDERATE OF HER TIME! She can be your best friend when you try to find material. Tell her what you are doing and what you hope to find. She might even suggest other approaches to searching, or other resources you might not have thought existed.

Next, look through the card catalog in the institution. Start by asking for help learning how to use the card catalog. Learning to use local historical associations’ card catalogs can be quite a problem. Some catalogs are almost useless. Learn the key terms if you have not already done so. For example, if you are looking for information about a maker in a city, search by the maker, variant names, and the city or neighborhood where that person lived or had a factory or store. If the historical society does not have an online catalog, you will need to budget some serious time going through the card catalog. Understand that volunteers often cataloged (or miscataloged) the material. Most historical societies are staffed by volunteers who have mixed skills and abilities. So consider related topics when searching the card catalog. Make sure that you check for a heading “Miscellaneous.” Also ask if the society has any uncataloged material.

Searching city directories for information about early instrument makers is best done at local historical societies. All too often, these societies are the only places where these directories are to be found. Treat the directories with great care. They tend to be quite fragile. Through these directories, you can get an idea of when someone moved or set up shop. But understand that city directories are less accurate than the Internet.

Another important resource found at many societies includes newspapers, genealogy books, and volunteers. Do not expect to find indices of early newspapers. You will have to go through them page by page. Some major newspapers like the New York Times have their archives online, but charge a fee to access them. Genealogy books can help you find information about a maker’s ancestors, when he moved to or from an area, and possibly help you find living descendents of the maker. Be careful though about genealogy books. Some books are of no real value. If you are interested in genealogy books, many libraries offer courses in researching genealogy. Volunteers are a wild card. You never know what you might find. Once, I was looking for information about a music store in Easton, PA and the local society had a volunteer there who had worked at the store. He was a fountain of information.

Let’s say you are looking for information about a maker in a given town. Check to see if the information is not already in print. The Musical Index must be checked. This index is available only at large university music libraries. This index will help you look for articles published on a music subjects, persons, or locations printed after 1948. Non-music indices can also be of help. Ask your librarian for help finding an appropriate index to consult, such as Arts and Humanities Citation Index. Consider looking through business directories and related topics. If the maker is important, such as Charles Gerhard Conn, also check with your reference librarian to find out if anyone has written a dissertation or about him. There are specialized reference books available to help looking for dissertations. These reference books are not common, and can be quite difficult to use. So, again ask your librarian for help. That is what they are there for.

RILM is yet another resource that will require some learning to use. RILM is an ongoing effort to index early U.S. music periodicals. While The Musical Index covers 1948 to the present, what about journals printed before then? Well, RILM and others, including myself, are or have indexed some 19th century music periodicals. In the mean time, consider looking through trade journals that might cover the time period for the topic or person you are researching. I’ve found material that simply baffles other researchers who did not have the time to delve into these publications. To access any of these resources, once again you need to start with the card catalog and then ask the librarian. I always ask the most senior librarian for help. They tend to know where things are squirreled away and how to use difficult reference publications.

One last resource that can be helpful is to look in Books in Print. This multi-volume list of books is logically organized and can often be found at even average sized libraries’ reference desks. While this publication is not as important as it was before the introduction of the Internet, it is a valuable resource for finding printed books.

Because few libraries, museums, or historical societies own original 19th century periodicals, journals, or newspapers, learn how to use a microfilm reader. They are not difficult and you can often find one with a print function. One thing I found useful is to buy a 35 millimeter film scanner and take it with me to the library. If I find anything important, I can scan that page into my laptop computer and manipulate the image using Photoshop Elements or any similar software program. This means I can check the image at the library without having to take the file home and hope that the scan was good enough. But I had to jump through flaming hoops to get permission to use my scanner at the library. The library did not want me to scratch the expensive microfilm.

If you live near a large university and the university has a music department, see if you can do research in the general library and also the music library. Many university libraries do not allow the general public to do any research on site. If you have found that the library has something you want to see, think about taking one class at the university just so you can gain access to the library. Alternatively, many public libraries can borrow material from university libraries. Ask to talk to the Interlibrary loan specialist at your public library to see if you can get the material you want, but don’t expect miracles. Many libraries and museums will not loan out anything.

The New York City Public Library, the Library of Congress and the National Archives (Washington, DC), and the Newberry Library in Chicago are arguably the finest research facilities in the U.S. UCLA, USC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, The University of Indiana at Bloomington, and the music library at Oberlin are also important U.S. libraries. [Readers are asked to help improve this list. Please be generous with information about holdings, hours of operations, and any important resources or problems you’ve faced doing research there.]

As with all libraries, begin by looking in the card catalog under every key word(s) you can think of. I like to write down a list of terms and then write down all call numbers for books and journals that I found under that key term. For libraries that do not have their card catalog online, I’ve even photocopied call cards from the card catalog, with permission from the librarian before I start. If the library’s stacks are open to the general pubic, find the area where the call number is located and look at all books on the shelves for any interesting books. Luck is an important research tool. If the stacks are closed to the public, ask the librarian for help searching the card catalog not only by key terms but also call numbers. For example, ML155 is the Library of Congress cutter number for musical instrument trade and auction catalogs. Don’t’ search under ML155.A1. That will only bring up one book. But by searching under ML155 you get a listing of all cataloged books whose call number begins with ML155. If your library uses the Dewey Decimal System your librarian can often help you find the catalog numbers you need to search. Most historical societies have their own numbering system (argh!).

Do not be put off by the brusque nature of a librarian or archivist. They simply have heard it all before and want to get you to where you need to go as quickly as possible so they can get back to their assigned work. Before leaving, ask the librarian if there are any special collections related to your key terms. This is where you will find information that is rarely examined by even the most ardent researcher. Searching uncataloged special collections can be a real challenge, but is always worth the trouble. Always document what you find or don’t find. If we researchers were to post information stating where we looked and what we found or did not find that would help other researchers to avoid wasting their time.

Another resource that many but not all large libraries have is a list of independent researchers who will conduct research for you for a fee. The libraries are often very jealous about keeping these lists up to date and accurate. Ask your reference librarian if you can have a copy of the list of independent researchers and then ask what their field of research is. Why ask a piano researcher to conduct research into brass valve systems? Using these researchers can save you years of wasted time and money. You will need to negotiate with the researcher for his/her fees. Obtaining photocopies of material through independent researchers is often faster and cheaper than using the Photoduplication services of the library. Historical societies rarely have such lists of independent researchers.

Museums are another resource in which gold is often hiding uncataloged on the shelves. For the U.S., the National Music Museum (formerly The Shrine to Music Museum) is a major repository of information and instruments made in the U.S. and Europe. While that museum has cataloged its instruments, it has not cataloged most of its printed resources. To gain access to this museum, you will need to make an appointment. Begin by joining the American Musical Instrument Society. The Society has annual meetings at various museums in the U.S. including Vermillion, South Dakota where the National Music Museum is located. But a word of warning is in order here. The staff number is quite small and they are often overworked. Think about staying over after the conference or getting there a week beforehand. Make an appointment no matter what! This is only common courtesy. Additionally, be warned: the director is no friend of his graduate students! The Metropolitan Museum (New York City), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History also have a small staff of organologists that can help answer questions and help people conduct research on site. To gain access to any museum’s collection, you will need to send a letter of introduction, then follow up with a phone call or email asking for an appointment. Finding addresses and phone numbers is best done by joining the American Musical Instrument Society. You will then get a roster of all members, including libraries and museums along with contact names. Guard it and use is with care.

Still another resource that is of some value is my own list of musical instrument trade catalogs. Check out for this list. I include all the citations from the Library of Congress’ ML155 and the Dayton C. Miller Collection. I was not able to catalog Mr. Miller’s personal letters, most of which related to woodwind instruments. This is one of those special collections that I mentioned earlier that has not been cataloged but contains some very valuable information. I have even included citations from other libraries, museums, historical associations, and citations I found on Ebay. These publications are too fragile to be loaned out. Yet, many can be photocopied by independent researchers for a fee.

Another resource of mixed quality is Ebay’s U.S. and European websites. I’ve found some very interesting information on and O.K. even if you can’t read French or German, you can print out the information and find someone to translate it for you. Always prefer a person instead of a computer to translate anything. Ebay has a few serious problems (well – more than a few). People who post things but don’t know how to describe what they have and people who don’t bother to post the item on the correct board aught to be taken out and horsewhipped, starting with the yutzes in China. They are destroying the value of the antique musical instrument boards and Ebay does nothing to stop them. Many competent people have given up on the antique musical instrument board and are now posting on the regular musical instrument board under pre-1980 instruments. Let’s not get into the question of authenticity or rightful owners. I use Ebay not to look for instruments of quality but rather paper ephemera, like trade catalogs, letters, etc. Quality instruments are best examined before being bid upon at Sotheby’s, Christies, Philips, Bohnam, etc. So, auction houses and private dealers are the preferred resource there. Even so, quality instruments still turn up from time to time on online auctions.

Another important resource, are dealers in antique musical instruments, documents, etc. These dealers advertise in the American Musical Instrument Society Journal and the Galpin Society Journal. They have access to material that is simply amazing. They can be trusted, but will ask top dollar for even a gum wrapper. Online antiquarian book dealers and dealers in ephemera offer material that can be found using an online search engine. These dealers don’t advertise in the scholarly journals. Check out

Now let’s briefly discuss actually writing up your research. If you are uncertain about how to organize your writing remember these two simple rules. 1. If writing about a person, think chronology. Start with birth date, write about the family, then his/her education, military activities, etc. in the order that they happened. 2. If you are writing about a topic, start with the simplest information and go to the most complex. Writing up your research will also require an introduction if only to remind your readers of what other research has been found and not found. The Chicago Manual of Style is not all that user friendly, but needs to be learned how to use if you wish to write for a publisher. Many universities require that students use a style manual when writing papers. Journals often have their own style manuals. If you wish to write for a journal, get a copy of their style manual. Even a well researched paper can be shot down because the paper does not use consistent style throughout. Style manuals are simply not used online – may that someday change.

Perseverance is the linchpin of any good researcher. Just because you did not find something online does not mean that it is not out there. Even when you think you’ve looked in every book, box, closet, and corner, there is always new material coming into the institutions. So, leave contact information asking to be informed if anything comes in. Most institutions will not quickly respond to that sort of request, if at all, but it never hurts to politely ask. Lloyd Farrar (co-editor of The New Langwill Index) even sought out grave stones and obituaries in obscure newspapers to try and find living family members. Now that’s dedication.


*Antique Brass Wind Instruments by Peter H. Adams (1998, Paperback)
Author: Peter H. Adams
Publisher: Schiffer Pub Ltd
Publication Date: 1998-01-01
Series: Schiffer Book for Collectors Series
Language: English
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 076430027X
ISBN-13: 9780764300271
Product ID: EPID804209

Antique Woodwind Instruments by Peter H. Adams (2005, Paperback)
Author: Peter H. Adams
Publisher: Schiffer Pub Ltd
Publication Date: 2005-08-30
Language: English
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0764322249
ISBN-13: 9780764322242
Product ID: EPID46743074

**An Annotated Index to Selected Articles from the Musical Courier, 1880-1940 by Peter H. Adams (2009, Hardcover)
Author: Peter H. Adams
Publisher: Scarecrow Pr
Publication Date: 2009-02-28
Language: English
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0810866587
ISBN-13: 9780810866584
Product ID: EPID71090544

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Auction: 2006, Fall Americana, Nov. 16 & 17

Price Realized: $1,495.00

A fine antebellum militiaman with impressed blind stamp of Weston/132 Chatham St./NY on brass mat. A youngster in red tinted jacket holding a curved militia saber poses before a remarkable Hudson River Valley scene associated with other Weston daguerreotypes of the 1850s.

The American Guard of New York City was originally raised in 1850 as a “Nativist” backlash to the “threatening waves” of immigrants arriving in the city. It became the “American Guard” in 1853 and later reorganized as part of the 71st Regiment New York State Militia. According to Todd in State Forces, in 1857 the company employed a “drum corps of boys” wearing “red jackets,” light blue trousers and white belts. Unfortunately, the colorist has obscured the musician’s square belt plate and oval shoulder belt plate with gilding. There is no other form of insignia visible except the very narrow shoulder tabs usually associated with musician’s uniforms of the period. The non-regulation brass hilted saber dating from the 1830s has scrolled work on the blade visible under magnification.

An exception tinted American militia daguerreotype from the antebellum period.

Daguerreotype is near EXC with delicate tinting and original paper seals intact. Clarity is not quite as sharp as typically seen in better dags. There is just a trace of dark tarnish adjacent to the elliptical brass mat, housed in partial composition case.

(EST $800-$1200)

Price Realized: $1,495.00

Friday, February 12, 2010

Interesting "Antique Civil War Snare Drum"

I don't know what to make of this drum. But its diameter (17") (height 7") was enough, together with the remaining leathers and rope to get my attention.

It's being offered on eBay by somewhereintime2 ( 7188) as item no. 300395739388 with precious little information.

If any reader can shed some light on this item, please write.

Civil War Era Ebonized Wood Drumsticks Drum Sticks

Each stick in this interesting pair of drumsticks bears a stamped 6-pointed star with some kind of design in the middle of the star. On one stick the design looks like it might be a numeral "8". On the other stick the design looks like it could be a clover leaf.

If any reader can shed light on this, please feel free to write.

eBay seller capecod_internet_auctions ( 210) describes item no. 170444815814 as follows:

This is a nice set of Civil War era drumsticks. The sticks have hand carved tips and star stamped ends. They are 16" long and 7/8" wide and have the expected wear marks of a 150 year old wooden musical instrument.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Four Score and Seventy Years Ago

Classic Drummer Archives, "Four Score and Seventy Years Ago" by Jack Lawton

The term “Vintage Drum” is often used to describe drums produced in the 1950’s and 60’s by the great manufacturers of the era, such as Camco, Gretsch, Leedy, Ludwig, Premier, Rogers, and Slingerland. With each passing year, these drums become more valuable and sought after by players and collectors. Suppose we were to go back a hundred years before that era, to take a look at the drums of the 1850’s and 60’s, and see who were making them and what they were like. We would notice a surprisingly large number of drum manufacturers and a great demand for their product. According to official Army records, the U.S. Government purchased over 32,000 drums from 1861 to 1865. That number does not include drums used by the Southern Army or the ones that were purchased by private citizens for use in community concert and marching bands.

Many of the major drum suppliers of the day were from cities like Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Some of the more familiar include:

William Boucher, Jr. - Baltimore, MD
John C. Haynes and Company - Cambridge, MA
Oliver Ditson - Boston, MA
Alexander Rogers - Long Island, NY
C. & F. Soistman - Philadelphia, PA
Horstmann Brothers and Company - Philadelphia, PA
William G. Sempf - New York, NY
William Ent, Germantown - Philadelphia Co., PA
Noble & Cooley - Granville, MA
Ernest Vogt - Philadelphia, PA

The drums produced by these and other companies, were light-weight and simple in design, being held together and tensioned by rope. The basic shell construction was one, two, and sometimes three plies, using woods like ash, maple, and rosewood. The wood panels were usually submerged in barrels of boiling water for a given length of time, then removed and bent around a cylindrical form, and clamped until dry. When the raw shell was removed from the form, it would be sized, glued and clamped, having an overlap seam 8 to 12 inches. Many manufacturers would then secure both the internal and external seams with a vertical row of roundheaded upholstery tacks, that were pushed through the overlap and bent over on the inside. The percussion hole (vent hole) was often centered between these two rows of tacks, in the middle of the shell.

Civil War Era
F. Woehr (Regimental Eagle Drum)
after restoration

Next, a decorative tack device would be placed around the vent hole, which was also bent over on the inside. These decorative tack designs not only helped to secure the overlap, but they were also like a trade-mark of the drum builder, much in the
same way badges are used by modern drum companies. Inside the drum, directly across from the vent hole, was pasted a paper label that had the name, address, and other useful information about the manufacturer and /or distributor.


After having secured the seam, many shells were reinforced with internal gluerings, top and bottom, and sometimes even around the center. The snare drums would then have narrow, but deep snare beds cut in them to accomodate the thick strands of gut snares. The next step would be to add any type of emblazonment, such as a regimental eagle or state seal, to the front of the shell. This was usually done by artists or sign painters, and some would use stencils to insure uniformity for large orders.

The Army guidelines stated that military drums would show the arms of the United States on a blue field for infantry and a red field for artillery, with the number or letter of the regiment to appear in the banner, or scroll, or under the coat of

Early 1800's
Henry Fraley Drum
after restoration

The drum heads were made of calfskin, sheepskin, or goatskin. The piece of skin was cut to a diameter that was 4” greater than that of the shell. It was soaked in cool water and tucked, or mounted on a wooden flesh-hoop. The heads were held in place on the drum with wooden rims, or counterhoops. A length of rope (approx. 45’) would be laced through the holes in the counterhoop, going on diagonals, from the bottom rim, to the top rim, and back again to the bottom, around the circumference of the drum.

When the eyelet at the beginning of the rope was reached, “a pig-tail” was twisted to finish it off. There was excess rope left, that would be braided and hung from the bottom of the drum, from the pig-tail to the opposite side. This braided piece was called the “drag-cord”. It was not only decorative, but it was also used by the drummer to sling over his shoulder to carry the drum with the thin snare head against his back.

Tension on the drum heads was controlled by leather “ears” or tugs, that were placed near the top of the drum, while the rope was being installed. As the ears would be slid down toward the bottom of the drum, the ropes would be pulled together, and both heads would become tighter. Snare tension was often adjusted by a simple thumb-screw type strainer that was mounted near the bottom of the shell, centered above one
of the snare beds.

Another type of strainer was mounted on the bottom rim and could actually release the snares from the bottom head. These simple snare drums were capable of producing a sharp, crisp snare sound with much depth and volume. They are instruments that speak with authority. It is difficult to establish prices on rope-tensioned drums of this era. Depending on condition, a plain rope drum might bring from $100 to $500 or

Early 1800's Drum with Seal of Pennsylvania
Made by Henry Fraley of Germantown

If the drum has a painted state seal or regimental eagle, it could be valued between $1,000 and $7,000 or more. The more that is known about a drum, such as who made it, who played it, and where it was played, generally the higher the value. On a recent trip to Gettysburg, I saw several Civil War era drums ranging in price from $4,500 to $6,500, with most of them in need of some sort of restoration. There are most likely hundreds of these relics to be found in basements, attics, and barns all across the country, just waiting to be discovered by someone who will appreciate the fine craftsmanship and historical significance which these unique instruments possess.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

1940 U.S. War Department's Technical Manual - Field Music, TM 20-250

Reader, drummer and drum maker/restorer George Kubicek (Yonkers, NY) wrote to draw our attention to this find on the Internet, a PDF copy of the U.S. War Department's Technical Manual on Field Music, no. 20-250, published September 20, 1940 (click to download a complete copy).

This copy was found in the Government Depository, West Texas State College, Canyon, Texas (per a readable embossing on the cover page).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Drums of James D. Julia Auctioneer

James D. Julia has auctioned a number of fine historic drums over the past few years. We searched the auctioneer's website and came back with the following descriptions, photos, reported sale prices and lot numbers. Some (many) of these drums are discussed elsewhere in this blog. However, putting them all together in a single post appeared helpful for our drum researchers.

CIVIL WAR ERA BASE DRUM. Small size drum, 24" dia. x 13-3/16” wide, wooden bodied with brass and iron tacks. The wood rims are 1-13/16" wide in their old red paint and have their orig. ropes with leather tighteners. The inside of the drum is marked in old ink writing "SNOREANCE BLAKE/DRUM MAKER/FARMINGTON FALLS/ME". CONDITION: The heads are fine. The body is stained and soiled but intact retaining most of an old revarnish. The rims are fine and retain 75-80% orig. red paint. A fine Civil War era drum. 4-45391 JL374 (1,000-1,500) [sale: GUN Spring 02] $1,322.00 Lot 628.


INLAID PAINTED MARCHING DRUM POSSIBLY CIVIL WAR ERA. This great mahogany drum, believed to be from the Civil War era and features mahogany shell and mahogany rims. It also has paint decorated hoops made with ash and what appears to be a free-hand paint decoration on the shell together with what appears to be bone or ivory insert on the vent hole. A very similar drum acquired from the same source has a maker's label on the inside (this specific drum does not have the maker's label but is obviously made by the same maker). The label on the other drum reads "Henry Eisele, Successor to William Sempe Manufacturers of the Bass and Snare Drums 209 & 211 Grand Street, New York N.B. Drum heads, Sticks, Cords, and etc. Constantly on Hand". SIZE: 17" dia. x 11" h. CONDITION: The skin on one side is split, the other side of the drum appears to be good. The leather fibers that go across the surface of the drum are frayed and the drum is somewhat soiled and shows handling marks, but it is generally in good structural condition. 8-86955 (1,500-2,500) [sale: GUN Spring 02] $2,012.00 Lot 627.


LATE 19TH CENTURY SNARE DRUM. With no visible markings or decorations except five-pointed stars on the leather sliders. CONDITION: Generally good. Two pin holes in the top head. The black and brown varnish finish is probably not the original. Two sets of sticks and a chamois beater accompany the lot. FS899 4-46030 (400-600) [sale: GUN Fall 02] $230.00 Lot 1695.


CIVIL WAR ERA SNARE DRUM. Bands are painted with black foliate decoration, body has decoration of eagle on patriotic shield, ivory peep hole, label of maker inside drum reads “HENRY EISELE, SUCCESSOR TO WILLIAM SEMPF. MANUFACTURER OF BASE AND SNARE DRUMS, 209 & 211 GRAND STREET NEW YORK”. SIZE: 12” tall x 16” diameter. CONDITION: Drum is totally original with original heads and snares. Bottom head has old ink name “W.A. Elliott”. Patented metal clips, original rope and leather tighteners are present. Original rope has two old repairs done with wire. 4-49041 JS66 (1,000-1,500) [sale: GUN Fall 03] $1,840.00 Lot 552.


CIVIL WAR ERA DRUM. SIZE: 15”x16” diameter. Label inside drum reads, “DRUMS AND FIFES MADE AND SOLD BY J. & G. DENNISON, FREEPORT”. Drum body is decorated with a painted drooped-wing eagle and on opposite side “THIRD MAINE REG. INFANTRY”. CONDITION: Both heads are shattered and partially missing. Ropes appear old as do tighteners. Hoops retain remnants of original red paint. Eagle painting is not typical of Civil War and could be commemorative. 4-50379 JS82 (1,500-3,500) [sale: GUN Spring 04] $3,162.00 Lot 607.


PHOTOGRAPH OF FOUR MILITARY DRUMMERS. Large frame of military drummers. IMAGE SIZE: 16”x13”. Seated are four young men in musicians coats with eagle sword belts and their four drums sitting in front of them. Reverse of photographs states, “GREAT GRANDFATHER QUIMBY WHO WAS A DRUMMER IN THE CIVIL WAR, 1862-1863”. 4-50384 JS83 (750-1,500) [sale: GUN Spring 04] $747.00 Lot 606.


LARGE PAINTED CIVIL WAR DRUM. 18" wide x 12" high eagle carrying banner in beak reading "REG. U.S. INFANTRY." The drum is by R. Mein of Fordham, N.Y. and is so marked on the label opposite the vent. 17" diameter with bent wood body and tightening rings. The vent hole is surrounded by brass tacks. Includes a pair 16-1/2" drum sticks in fine condition. CONDITION: The painted surface is very good with only minor chips but there is a 7" split starting at the eagle's left wing tip and running under that wing. There is light flaking on the eagle's right side. The fastening rings show some loss of finish together with many splits in the fastening area. Some nails are missing. Both heads are torn and need to be replaced. The tension strings are broken in many places and only five of the leather tightening bands remain. Hamilton Collection 4-52150 (4,500-6,500) [sale: GUN Fall 04] $7,500.00Lot 1229.


CIVIL WAR ERA DECORATED DRUM BY WILLIAM SEMPF, NEW YORK. Circa 1860. Inside label “William Sempf Manufacturer of Base and Snare Drums 209 & 211 Grand St, New York…”. An oval stamp is also inside stating “Dixie White Olaf”. This is located on the drum head. There is a pencil signature next to the label “76 TSU”. Outside of the drum has black decoration to the outside wood bands. Central band decorated with eagle and shield. The outside rope appears to have been replaced. The drum was owned by Frank George Horton who was the son of George Horton. Birthplace Cattaraugus County, New York around 1840 and settled in Illinois. It has descended in the family. Frank George Hor ton enlisted June 2, 1862. Discharged September 27, 1862 at the age of 21. 57th Co. Regiment of Illinois Bols Infantry. He re-enlisted for an unknown period of time afterwards. SIZE: 8-3/4” x 16” w. CONDITION: One split in drum head, generally very good. 9-99813 (300-500) [sale: AMER May 05] $488.00 Lot 155.


CIVIL WAR ERA DECORATED DRUM BY WILLIAM SEMPF, NEW YORK. Circa 1860. Inside label “William Sempf Manufacturer of Base and Snare Drums 209 & 211 Grand St, New York…”. An oval stamp is also inside stating “Dixie White Olaf”. This is located on the drum head. There is a pencil signature next to the label “76 TSU”. Outside of the drum has black decoration to the outside wood bands. Central band decorated with eagle and shield. The outside rope appears to have been replaced. The drum was owned by Frank George Horton who was the son of George Horton. Birthplace Cattaraugus County, New York around 1840 and settled in Illinois. It has descended in the family. Frank George Hor ton enlisted June 2, 1862. Discharged September 27, 1862 at the age of 21. 57th Co. Regiment of Illinois Bols Infantry. He re-enlisted for an unknown period of time afterwards. SIZE: 8-3/4” x 16” w. CONDITION: One split in drum head, generally very good. 9-99813 (500-1,000) [sale: AMER Jan 05] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 1228.


CIVIL WAR ERA DECORATED DRUM BY WILLIAM SEMPF, NEW YORK. Circa 1860. Inside label “William Sempf Manufacturer of Base and Snare Drums 209 & 211 Grand St, New York…”. An oval stamp is also inside stating “Dixie White Olaf”. This is located on the drum head. There is a pencil signature next to the label “76 TSU”. Outside of the drum has black decoration to the outside wood bands. Central band decorated with eagle and shield. The outside rope appears to have been replaced. The drum was owned by Frank George Horton who was the son of George Horton. Birthplace Cattaraugus County, New York around 1840 and settled in Illinois. It has descended in the family. Frank George Hor ton enlisted June 2, 1862. Discharged September 27, 1862 at the age of 21. 57th Co. Regiment of Illinois Bols Infantry. He re-enlisted for an unknown period of time afterwards. SIZE: 8-3/4” x 16” w. CONDITION: One split in drum head, generally very good. 9-99813 (800-1,200) [sale: Samoset 04] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 545.


MAINE CIVIL WAR PERIOD MILITIA DRUM. A fine example of a mid-19th C. tack decorated maple wood drum made by “M. Woodman”. The drum body is of maple with two varnished maple wood rims. 16-1/2” in diameter. The rims are each 1-1/4” high and the assembled drum stands 15” tall. Visible through the eye hole is its original green paper label reading “M. Woodman, Manufacturer of/DRUMS, of all kinds. Farmington Falls, Me”. Of particular interest is the tack decoration surrounding the eyehole, which forms a Maltese cross or 5th Corps badge. The maple body seam is tacked as well. An excellent, mostly orig, Civil War or earlier drum from Maine. The drum is accompanied by two rosewood drumsticks of the same period as the drum. CONDITION: Excellent. Ropes are replaced but the orig untouched finish of the drum remains. Both of its period heads are intact with the orig snare at the bottom and seven of its eight orig leather adjusters remain. Leather adjusters are dry and flexed. Top head is split about 8-1/4”. Some shrinking and warping. Drumsticks are in good condition with the expected nicks, scratches and wear at the tips. Overall a very nice condition early Maine-made drum. 4-57369 CW111 (400-600) [sale: GUN Fall 05] $891.00 Lot 3477.


SNARE DRUM IN CUSTOM MADE BOX. 11-1/2” tall, 16-1/2” diameter. Label inside drum reads “BOSTON DRUM FACTORY, 61 COURT STREET, BOSTON, ELIAS HOWE AGENT”. Drum has restored ropes, heads, and snares. Drum fits nicely in custom box. 4-56227 JS197 (500-1,000) [sale: GUN Fall 05] $1,150.00 Lot 2372.


CIVIL WAR REGULATION REGIMENTAL EAGLE DRUM. 15-1/2” tall with 16-1/2” diameter. Painted ribbon reads “__ REG. U.S. INFANTRY” held in beak of painted eagle with patriotic shield. Maker’s label inside reads “MANUFACTURED BY HORSTMANN & BROTHERS & CO. MILITARY FURNISHERS. FIFTH & CHERRY STREETS, PHILADELPHIA”. This is a fine, untouched drum and it would be hard to find a better one. CONDITION: Drum overall very good, all parts appear original. Painting is very good with some crazing. 4-56226 JS179 (4,000-8,000) [sale: GUN Fall 05] $13,225.00 Lot 2371.


24” HIGH 26” DIAMETER DRUM.WITH MAKERS LABEL MICHAEL RUPP / Gettysburg, PA. The name Rupp is painted in 3” high letters on the inside of the drum with an owners name of John A Halter . Outside of the drum is painted with a large American eagle.& 13 stars with a banner in gold above the eagle. Label & painted name opposite the view hole below the eagle is partially covered by a heavy canvas repair inside. CONDITION: Bentwood body has a 4” broken area on one side of the iron tacked seam. There are also 5 splits in the same area, one of the 1-1/2” long. One head is good, the other is torn & stained. One end of the banding is broken but both hoops are good, the eagle painting has some worn areas & the shield appears to have some repaint; all leathers appear to be orig. 4-30809 (3,000-4,000) [sale: GUN Spring 07] $2,127.00 Lot 434.


CIVIL WAR PAINTED EAGLE SNARE DRUM. 13-1/2” height x 17” in diameter. This is a classic Civil War infantry drum. Originally they were several inches taller but some of these were cut to change the pitch such as this one. This drum appears untouched from its time of use with old rope and tighteners. Painting is untouched. Eagle holds a ribbon in its mouth which says, ”REG. U.S. Infantry.” CONDITION: Drum body is good overall. All tacks are complete. Rims are compressed over body. Both heads are broken but partially intact. Painting appears untouched with scrapes, gouges producing paint losses 4-30364 (3,500-6,500) [sale: GUN Spring 07] $6,900.00 Lot 433.


CIVIL WAR PERIOD ROPE-TENSION SNARE DRUM, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. This is a very nice orig American Civil War, plain-sided, maple, rope-tension snare drum with an orig affixed label for a Boston manufacturer. Drum is 14-1/2” tall x 17-1/4” wide. There are some hand-painted gold letters applied to the exterior of the drum shell, but due to the style of lettering, it is uncertain as to their exact signification. These appear to be “J. H. F.”. Drum has an orig period label affixed to the interior of the drum shell body that has been covered with a clear acid-free sheet as part of the restoration/preservative process. Hand-lettered ink paper label reads “Made by White Brothers / NO. 86 Tremont Street / Boston Mass / 1859”. In American Military Goods, Dealers and Makers, p. 172, the authors show a listing for Ira E. White, Boston drum maker from 1864-1865. This drum was restored (new antiqued ropes) by William Reamer of Lancaster, PA, in 2004, and is marked as such on the interior, “Restored by W. H. Reamer / 5-3-04”. Mr. Reamer is a widely recognized drum manufacturer/restorer. This drum would add period charm and display very nicely in any living space or gun/collection room. CONDITION: Very good as restored. 4-32931 JS266 (450-750) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $920.00 Lot 1455G.


PRE-CIVIL WAR NEW HAMPSHIRE ROPE-TENSION SNARE DRUM. This is a very nice, orig, late 1850s-style, American, plain-sided, maple, rope-tension snare drum with an orig affixed label for a well-known Concord, NH manufacturer. Drum is 17-1/4” tall x 16-1/2” wide. There are no decorations painted or otherwise applied to the exterior of the drum shell. It has bright red drum hoops. Drum has on orig period label fixed to the interior of the drum shell body that has been covered with a clear, acid-free sheet as part of the restoration/preservative process. Period printed label reads, “Bass & Tenor Drums / Ebony Drum-Sticks / B & C Fifes / Manufactured / and for sale by / Porter Blanchard / Concord, New-Hampshire”. This drum was restored (new antiqued ropes and leather tighteners, repainted orig hoops) by William Reamer of Lancaster, PA, in 2004, and is marked as such on the interior. This drum would add charm and display very nicely in any living space or gun/collection room. CONDITION: Good. 4-32932 JS267 (700-1,000) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $230.00 Lot 1455F.


RESTORED DRUM OF L. B. STRATTON OF THE 89TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY. This snare drum, 15” in diameter x 10” tall, was rebuilt and refinished in Oxford, New York in 1918 by Howard C. Bartlett, and is so written inside drum. An orig, Civil War, patriotic label is not easily discernible. Written on top head is “L.B. Stratton/August 4, 1864” along with partial regimental information “89th. . C. (or G.?) Bower (or Bowers?)”. The family who consigned this drum is directly descended from the restorer of the drum, who lived in Oxford, N.Y. Consignor surmises as follows: “According to New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd Ed, by Frederick Phisterer (J.B. Lyon, 1912), the Hon. J.S. Dickinson received authority, August 29, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry; this regiment (the 89th) was organized under Col. Harrison S. Fairchild and Lieut.-Col J.C. Robie, at Elmira November 26, 1861, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years December 4, 5 and 6, 1861. At the expiration of its term of enlistment those entitled thereto were mustered out, and the regiment retained in service. During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 4 officers, 49 enlisted men; of wounds directly received in action, 2 officers, 52 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 158 enlisted men; total, 7 officers, 259 enlisted men; aggregate, 266; of whom 13 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy. The 89th was in siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond from June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. This encompasses the date inscribed on the drum head (4th Aug 1864). A Gilbert (G.) Bowers, who was a mason, served in Company E of the 89th Regiment. He enlisted at age 43 at Oxford for three years and mustered in as a private on Jan. 4, 1864. He was discharged on May 26, 1865 at Stuart Hospital in Richmond, Va. and filed for a military pension March 25, 1867. The name on the drum that is more legible is L.B. Stratton. We suspect (but have not yet been able to confirm) that this is actually Whitman Stratton, who also served in Company E of the 89th. Whitman Stratton (also Straton), was mustered in as a private in Co. E on October 7, 1861. He was promoted to sergeant (no date available), was discharged on October 7, 1864, and applied for a military pension on July 2, 1890. CONDITION: Very good as restored; slight tear in bottom drum skin.. 4-31591 JS268 (1,000-2,000) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $2,760.00 Lot 1455E.


PRE-CIVIL WAR NEW YORK MADE SNARE DRUM. This drum is 14-1/2” tall x 16-1/4” in diameter. Label inside drum reads “Albany Drum Factory, Military and Bass Drums / Made and Sold / by J & H Meacham, No. 104 State Street, Albany”. Wood body is decorated with tacks around vent hole. Drum has been restored, utilizing new ropes and tensioners. Apparent orig heads have been reinforced. This drum would display very nicely and make a fine small table in any living space or gun room. CONDITION: Good as restored. 4-31600 JS269 (450-750) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $270.00 Lot 1455D.


REGULATION CIVIL WAR INFANTRY EAGLE DRUM. This regulation eagle drum is 16-1/2” in diameter and 15-1/2” tall. All parts are orig and authentic. Label inside drum reads “C & F Soistmann / Manufacturers of all kinds of drums / No. 458 Dillwyn Street / Philadelphia”. Conrad and Frederick Soistmann are listed as drum makers at this address in 1863. This manufacturer had a contract with the Army in 1864 for 1,000 drums. Painted eagle on this drum is excellent with only minor losses of paint, as can be seen in photograph. Most of the orig tensioners are missing; however, the rope is orig and solid. Bottom head is badly shattered. Top head is solid but warped. This is a beautiful, untouched, Civil War eagle drum that would be hard to upgrade CONDITION: Very good overall as described above. Top rim fits loosely. 8-87530 JS270 (8,000-12,000) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $9,200.00 Lot 1455C.


CONFEDERATE MAPLE DRUM. This drum, 12" high x 14" in diameter, is typical of snare drums used by both sides during the Civil War. Drum has repainted red hoops, maple body with numerous defects, not typical of a drum for civilian or Northern military use. This drum has tag opposite vent from the restorer which reads: "Repaired and restored / by / W. H. Reamer / January 1988 / Broomall, PA". Drum is accompanied by pair of period drumsticks. Mr. Michel, in his notes, states, "Drum was found in southern New Jersey and it came from an old GAR post as a 'rebel drum'. At one time there was a tag to that effect which has since been lost". CONDITION: 4-31461 JS62 (1,000-2,000) [sale: GUN Fall 07] $2,300.00 Lot 1215.


EARLY BRASS & WOOD DRUM AND DRUM STICKS WITH BOX. Drum having a brass center with wood top and bottom rims. Top having orange paint as well as the bottom. Bottom appears to have orange over blue and red; a clamp tightener on one side. 19th Century. Drum stick box with velvet liner and leather outside covering has original mustard edge highlighting and "Sticks" written on top and bottom. Hasp of the lock marked "Presto Lock Co. USA". Box holding a pair of 16" dark hardwood drumsticks having 2-1/2" brass handles. Also two lighter colored drumsticks with similar brass ends. Contained in a shoulder harness with clip for drum. SIZE: Drum is 13" h x 15" dia. Box is 4-1/4" h x 2" l x 6-1/2" d. CONDITION: Drum intact with drum heads present, some loss to paint. Drumsticks are intact with some damage to brass, leather is dry with minor losses. 9-90840 (800-1,200) [sale: AMER Jan 08] $632.00 Lot 898.


LARGE PRE-CIVIL WAR EAGLE DECORATED DRUM. This large period drum in original old paint and decoration features a large wonderful folk art spread-wing eagle with flag and a round wreath of foliate design. Also a second painted spread-wing eagle on the opposite side of the drum. CONDITION: Many of the original leather tensioners are present. Original cord has at some time been replaced with later cord. Drum includes its original leather harness. Skins are intact, but each has a small split. Wooden retainer bands at top and bottom feature the original old red paint; both have age splits, one reinforced with four early handmade raisin-head nails. 4-32241 JJ14 (8,000-12,000) [sale: GUN Spring 08] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 1391.


CIVIL WAR ERA NEW YORK MADE DRUM. Eagle and banner decorated regulation infantry drum retaining maker's label on inside: "John F. Stratton Military Drums, 105 East 22nd Street, New York". Drum retains all but one of the leather tighteners, the cord a later replacement. Both at top and bottom have old but possibly not original skins (top with a split along the edge). CONDITION: We do not guarantee how old paint and and eagle is, otherwise generally good condition. 4-32243 JJ16 (4,500-6,500) [sale: GUN Spring 08] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 1390.


MAINE-MADE CIVIL WAR ERA DRUM. This eagle-and-shield hand decorated drum is labeled on the interior "John D. McCarthy Drums...Lewiston Maine". The fierce eagle decoration with "E Pluribus Unum" banner in beak, peace branch and arrows in its talons, all on a red, white, and blue shield. Thirteen gold rays and stars are arrayed over the wings. All but one of the original tighteners are present, skin on the top appears original, the bottom one an old replacement. CONDITION: Drum side has a split radiating the entire circumference of the drum, painted eagle is strong, two retaining bands on top and bottom appear to be repainted. 4-32242 JJ15 (5,000-8,000) [sale: GUN Spring 08] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 1389.


CIVIL WAR EAGLE DRUM. You are bidding on a beautiful Civil War Eagle Drum about 13" t, 16-1/2" across. A similar painted drum is pictured in Mark Elrod's book, A Pictoral History of Civil War Era Musical Instruments and Military Bands. That drum has a label noting manufacture by Horstmann of PA. This drum is full-sized and not cut down as so many were for later service. Upper head, rope, and leather braces may be restorations, as is usually the case, but now have appropriate age look. Upper rim considerably worn perhaps from too many rim shots where the drummer rests one stick on the rim while he strikes it with the other. Drum still has its original gut snares. The body of the drum is tiger-eye maple. An old coat of varnish has preserved the painting, but has darkened with age. Colors underneath are strikingly vivid worth of professional cleaning. CONDITION: Overall, very good. Top head is restored as are tighteners; otherwise, drum is in as-found condition. Paint is very good and bright with scattered scratches, scrapes, and soiling. Top hoop is broken and separated, but sits on drum well, and does not affect aesthetics. 87566 (7,000-9,000) [sale: GUN Spring 08] $7,475.00 Lot 1388B.


CAPTURED CONFEDERATE DRUM. You are bidding on possibly the only confederate used drum ever offered at an auction. We can find no record of another drum with such provenance as this one. Similar identified drums are in institutional collections including, The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond Virginia, and the Atlanta Historical Society. This drum is intact and is in as found condition. Drum is a standard military drum used both North and South; 16" X 14" with about 2" high red painted hoops, a natural wood body with a geometric design, a bone vent hole plug, and orig tied on carrying strap. The drum is consigned by a direct descendant of the soldier who captured this drum and carried it home as a souvenir. There is a 15 line ink inscription on the top head which is no doubt contemporary to the capture of the drum. Because of their bulk, a drum would have been a difficult souvenir for a soldier to obtain, unless he was stationed on a ship such as soldiers fighting at Port Royal, at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where other large souvenirs have known to have been collected. The inscription though worn and weathered, is still mostly discernible as follows. "This drum was found 3 miles from Fort Walker, Hilton Head, S.C. on the 8th of November 1861, by WM. Car.... the Steward of Steamship Manion. The drum was left in that spot by one of the drummers of the Berry Infantry of ... 7th day of ... Georgia on the named month..... after their defeat in the battle for Port Royal. The drummer ... in the hand during his... was on the drumm...SECESSION DRUM FROM PORT ROYAL, S.C." If you ever wanted a confederate used drum you better buy this one, I doubt another with iron clad provenance will ever turn up. Accompanied by copy of article from Brooklyn, NY newspaper, cs 1948-1950, in which previous owner states, "he wouldn't let anyone play my Civil War was given to me by a friend several years ago." CONDITION: Drum appears uncleaned and untolled since the war. Surfaces of heads, hoops, and body have numerous scratches, soiled areas, and scuffs. Drum head has stain marks which could be blood. The two hoops retain most of their orig red paint. Both heads have several age cracks measuring from 1/2" to 2" long. Roping is completely original and intact though worn at high spots. Only one original leather tightener is present and it has contemporary string repair, and is quite fragile. A second retained tightener is made from a loose piece of cloth with a small civil war era buckle. The original drum strap is frayed, but mostly complete though lacking most all of it's leather attachment. The original roller buckle is retained by a safety pin. 4-31692 JS9 (10,000-15,000) [sale: GUN Spring 08] $20,700.00 Lot 1388A.


CIVIL WAR ERA AMERICAN MILITARY DRUM. You are bidding on a nice 19th century painted military snare drum. This drum measures 16" across x 13" tall. The painted device is approximately 9" round and depicts an American eagle with patriotic shield with 13 stars. Maker's label inside drum reads, "William Kilborn, successor to George Kilborn, 7 Clinton Ave., Albany, New York." According to old article that accompanies drum, William Kilburn's shop was in business between 1864 to 1869. The article goes on to state that the eagle and shield marked it as a National Guard drum from the Civil War period. The iron patented tightening clips are not typical of the Civil War but we believe were patented in 1864. Regardless this is a nice piece of American folkart. CONDITION: Drum is very good overall, as ropes and tighteners are replaced, as are heads and top head has 3" tear. Red painted hoops have lost a majority of their paint. Maple body of drum has numerous scuffs, scrapes and scratches including scrapes and paint reduction to eagle device as can be seen in photographs. 4-35217 JS37 (2,000-4,000) [sale: Gun Fall 08] $3,162.50 Lot 2499.


CIVIL WAR-ERA U.S. INFANTRY DECORATED EAGLE DRUM. This Civil War period labeled drum has a paper label affixed on the interior from Horstmann Brothers & Company of Philadelphia. The drum, with hand-painted eagle decoration on the side, depicts an American eagle with outstretched wings having a shield belly and a banner in its mouth reading “U.S. INFANTRY”. The drum features its original decoration on the side of the drum and much of the original paint decoration on the bands. Both the drum heads and the roping recently replaced in the appropriate and authentic style of the original. SIZE: 16-3/4” dia. X 15”h. CONDITION: Red paint on bands worn and overall wear to decoration on side; most of image still present and strong. 8-87531 JJ (3,000-4,000) [sale: Gun Spring 09] $0.00 (no sale) Lot 2392J.


BRASS BODY PRESENTATION DRUM. You are bidding on a brass bodied snare drum that measures 16" x 7-1/2" with decoratively painted red hoops. Brass drums were popular with militia during mid to late 19 century. This drum at one time was silver plated, remnants of silver still can be seen on brass body. Below vent hole is a silver shield 1-1/2" across that reads "Presented to Robert McConahy by Co. H, 15th Regiment NGP July 1876". CONDITION: Drum is intact, both heads have large tears, snare tighteners all intact, painted gilt decorations on hoops are only half there from wear. 39019 JS53 (400-600) [sale: GUN Fall 09] $345.00 Lot 2510.


CIVIL WAR TYPE DRUM COMPLETE WITH STICKS. This Civil War style drum is complete with a pair of early walnut drumsticks has a paper label fitted to the interior, which states that it was rebuilt in 1973. The paper label is that of Ralph Eames, master drum maker, Wakefield, MA. It appears the heads were replaced at that time, the ropes and the leather tighteners. SIZE: 13-1/2” high, diameter is. 16-3/4”. CONDITION: Generally good. Peephole appears to have been enlarged at the time it was rebuilt. The top and bottom bands retain what appears to be old red stain. 4-39096 (600-1,200) [sale: GUN Fall 09] $460.00 Lot 2509A.


CIVIL WAR ERA REGULATION DRUM WITH STICKS. This Maine made Civil War drum, complete with sticks and early linen shoulder harness, is fitted with an orig paper label, which reads in part “Maine Drums” with an eagle motif and below reads “Wells...” part of the label is missing and not all of the words can be read through the peep hole. Drum has org top bands and old red paint, appears to have all the org period leather tighteners, and the drum heads may be very old replacements. SIZE: 13-1/2” high, diameter is approx. 16-1/4” CONDITION: Generally good, some rubs and scuffs, but generally in very good condition. 4-39097 (1,000-1,500) [sale: GUN Fall 09] $402.50 Lot 2509.


BEAUTIFUL CIVIL WAR ERA EAGLE DRUM. You are bidding on a beautiful Civil War era era drum with an unusual painted spread-wing eagle motif with patriotic shield on its chest. The eagle is holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons and five large stars span the area above the eagle's outspread wings. This is a beautiful piece of folk art. Inside the drum is a large paper manufacturer's label stating "Wm. Boucher Jr./No 38 E Baltimore Street/Baltimore, MD". SIZE: 16"w x 16"h. CONDITION: Painting appears natural and untouched and well patinated after all these years. Ropes and tighteners may be original, if not are old replacements. Heads, body and bands appear original.Snare head has a small repaired hole. Rarely find drums with such well executed painted eagles in their orig, unaltered paint. 4-39073 JS80 (6,500-9,500) [sale: GUN Fall 09] $6,612.50 Lot 2508.

P.R. Winn, Drummaker

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