Monday, April 4, 2011

The Ludwig & Ludwig Standard Concert Snare Drum

As mentioned in an earlier blog, the Conn Musical Instruments Company at one time owned both the Ludwig and Leedy Drum Companies. ( See Blog dated Feb 14th). William Ludwig Sr. had sold his company because of financial difficulties due to the stock market crash in the late 20's. At the time of the sale, the Ludwig badge on the drums read " Ludwig & Ludwig" referring to William Sr. and his brother, Theobald. The brothers got their start in the drum business by opening a drum store in Chicago.

In any case, both Ludwig and Leedy were manufactured on the same drum line in Indiana. The drums had different hardware, strainers, and badges. Conn Executives viewed Ludwig as the "weak sister" and focused most of their attention on the Leedy Drum Line. Ludwig & Ludwig had its own sales office in Chicago and they did their best without much support. Meanwhile, in the 30's, William had quite enough of Conn, quit the company, and started the WFL Drum Company. Thus, Bill Sr. found himself in the unenviable position of competing against his own "old" company.

In 1951, Conn merged both Ludwig & Ludwig and Leedy into one new drum company--the Leedy and Ludwig Drum Company. This venture lasted but a few years and ended up with Conn selling Ludwig back to Bill Sr.

The pictured beauty is from the late 40's/early 50's. The badge reads, "Ludwig & Ludwig, Chicago, Illinois". She has a thick 3 play wood shell and self aligning Imperial lugs which were revolutionary for the time. This lug was introduced back in the 30's and a variation is still in use today. She also has the Controlled Response Extension Snare Strainer. This ingenious 3 way strainer was only available from 1941 until 1950.

Initially, this model was offered in a mahogony or lacquer finish. But as the 40's turned to the 50's, pearl finishes became available. As the reader can see, this green pearl wrap is stunning. Her sound matches her looks.

Two of the most famous drummers in history played Ludwig & Ludwig Drums--Baby Dodds with Louis Armstrong and Big Sid Catlett with a later version of Louis Armstrong's band.


  1. Hi!

    I have this exact drum but it´s missing parts off the throw off. Do you know where I can find throw off parts for this exact strainer?

    Bets regards, Pete

  2. Hi Pete,
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. My best guess is that you should go to the and make a post there.
    Someone is bound to have the parts.