Saturday, August 29, 2020

Frederick Lane Drum, pre-Civil War (ca. 1821-1837)

This gem surfaced recently.  I guess the date of the drum to be from 1813 (the date of another Frederick Lane drum discussed below) or 1821-1837 based on this mention of the Frederick Lane music store in Boston, Massachusetts

"One hundred and fifty years of music publishing in the United States; an historical sketch with special reference to the pioneer publisher, Oliver Ditson company, inc., 1783-1933

"To combine the selling of music with books was natural, but the curious combination of music and umbrellas seems peculiar to Boston in the period 1825- 1845. John Ashton, Jr., and John Ashton & Co. (E. H. Wade) umbrella-makers, from 1 820-1 843 at 18 Marlboro Street and 197 Washington Street, may have set the fashion of adding music and musical in- struments to their stock in trade, a step they took in 1825. They were followed by Frederick Lane, the umbrella-man of Court Street, 1821-1837; Henry Prentiss who, having been an umbrella-maker from 1825 to 1833 on Court Street, added pianos and music in 1834 and published music as well until 1845; and Charles H. Keith, another Court Street umbrella- maker from 1833, who added music and instruments to his stock in 1835, in 1840 took in a partner for two years as Keith & Moore, and as music-dealer and publisher under his own name continued until 1 846, when the catalog was purchased by Oliver Ditson & Co. A shorter-lived umbrella and music-store was that of a former partner of John Ashton, Eben H. Wade, who, at 197 Washington Street, did some publishing between 1847 and 1856."

Label reads:



Musical Magazine,



Bass Drums; Tenor Drums, Bass Viols; Vio-

lins; Clarionets; Flutes; Hauthoys Fife[s]; Bassoons; Bu-

[missing;] Trumpets; French [illegible], &c, [illegible] &c [illegible]

 gs, reeds - and Instruction Books. [missing] 

[missing], which we will sell on [missing]

Music stores on Court St in Boston MA 1855

 Photo Posted by George Lane at

"Frederick Lane's Music Store was at 92 Court St. (opposite of the Old Court House) from 1820-44. He had bought out N. H. Henchman's Music Shop at 79 State St. in April 1813. He manufactured bass drums for the militia, wind instruments and violins. By the 1830, he also made umbrellas at his shop on Court St.

Source: 1855 Court St Boston BPL 08 02 003376-1 detail2Public Domain

Author unknown - Boston Public Library, Print Department"


Other Frederick Lane drums:



Painted with a view of Massassoit beneath a raised arm brandishing a sword, encircled by a red banner inscribed with the state motto "ENSE PETIT PLACIDEN SUB LIBERTATE QUIETEM (With the Sword We Seek Peace, But Only Under Liberty), within berried laurel branches, the shell painted with red and dark-blue stripes edged in mustard, with the original skins, ropes, hoops and iron strap hook mounted on an iron plate, the interior bearing a partial paper label inscribed "Frederick Lane Keeps Constantly For Sale at His Music Store at No. 79 State Street, Boston, Bassoons with Trumpets, Bird Organs, Tenor Violins...." Height 22 1/2 inches, diameter 24 inches.

Bourgeault-Horan Antiquarians
October 12, 2006
Portsmouth, NH, US


Bass drum and mallet 1813–19
Frederick Lane, American, 1791–1865

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Height 60 cm, diameter 62 cm (Height 23 5/8 in., diameter 24 7/16 in.), Ash

Classification: Musical instruments

On view in the: Musical Instruments Gallery

Ash (?) shell with painted decoration consisting of an American eagle with "E Pluribus Unum" on a fluttering banner over a shield. Skin heads held on by red-painted wood hoops laced with rope and leather tensioners. Includes old wooden mallet.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gift of the Family of Charles E. Black and Gale L. Perron, including Karen A. Black, Diane L. (Black) Conners, Emmie Perron Black and Katrina Perron-Black, 1986
Accession number: 1986.937a-b

Provenance/Ownership History: Donated by Charles E. Black of Hingham, Massachusetts. Black apparently inherited the instrument from his father, Clarence Edgar Black, originally from Waldoboro, Maine. It was supposedly handed down through several generations of the family, and is believed to have been used in the War of 1812 by Joseph Jewett (1780-1852) of Alna, Maine.

This object is included in the following Selected Tour(s):
•Percussion Musical Instruments 


Advertisement for Frederick Lane
File:1832 Frederick Lane BostonDirectory.png - Wikimedia Commons

Boston Directory. 1832.



Massachusetts Collection of Martial Musick;: Containing a Plain, Easy, and Concise Introduction to the Grounds of Martial Musick, Laid Down in the Most Comprehensive Manner. : Together with a Large Collection of the Most Approved Beats, Marches, Airs, &c.; Including the Principal Part of the Duties of the Camp, the Evolutions for the Musicians, and Their Signals; a Great Part of which was Never Before Published. Designed Principally for the Benefit of the Militia of the United States

Front Cover
Glazier and Company; sold by them, wholesale and retail, at their bookstore, no. 1, Kennebec-Row; by Frederick Lane, at his music-store, no. 92, Court-street, Boston; and by the booksellers generally., 1826 - Drum - 71 pages

P.R. Winn, Drummaker

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