Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Rogers Century Snare Drum

Like all the Drum Companies in the 60's, the Rogers Drum Company offered a variety of snare drums for every taste and budget. The Powertone snare drum was clearly the mainstream choice.(See Blog Aug.10th). But in an effort to increase sales to the concert drummer, Rogers offered up the drum you see pictured here.

The Rogers Century Snare drum was the largest snare drum that ever graced a Rogers catalog. This beauty was 8 inches deep with a 15 inch diameter head. The early 60's catalog describes this drum as a "Perma-Built" snare drum. This was simply a slogan that Rogers used in its catalogs to indicate the strength of its shells. Indeed, the 1956 catalog showed a photo of 5 employees balancing themselves on a Rogers parade drum shell.

The drum came with triple flange hoops, the standard swivomatic snare strainer, the maple/poplar shell with Maple reinforcing rings, 16 self aligning lugs, and 20 strand snappy snares. The drum listed for 95.00 dollars in the mahogany or lacquered version, 105.00 dollars in the Pearl version. For an extra 2.00 dollars, one could opt for gut snares.

The Rogers Century was designed to be played in a concert band or an orchestral setting. It's large size allowed it to be heard in an environment where it had to compete with 100 other musicians playing large scale symphonic pieces. As one can imagine, it's a loud drum, but not particularly sensitive. Sensitivity was up to the player. The cost of the drum put it right in the middle range of Rogers Snare drums. The Rogers Dynasonic was the price leader at a suggested list of 150.00. Today, that doesn't seem like a lot of money, but in 1962 that wasn't peanuts.

As far as I can tell, the Rogers Century was never associated with any particular player or orchestra. I never seen one used in a commercial band. It would seem to be perfect for a loud rock or metal band. I suspect that the issue is one of availability. Also, I don't imagine many have survived over the years. It's not a very collectible drum and I've never seen one at the many vintage drum shows I've attended over the years. I picked this sweetheart up for a song at a drum store in Toronto Canada many years ago.

This drum's time has come and gone. Nevertheless, the Rogers Century Snare Drum still occupies a place in drum history.

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