Happy Holidays! I was able to belt this one out in between Xmas festivities.
I got this snare drum a few years ago from my good friend and fellow collector Rich Kalinski. It has been in my restoration queue since so it’s time to clean, restore and present.
A special thanks goes to vintage drum historian Harry Cangany for his assistance as to the date of this drum.
A little history, learning experience and a thought:
1. The 1927 Leedy Catalog “O” states that: “Colonial Gold is also a Duco finish. It will not chip or crack and will withstand an unbelievable amount of rough usage. The finish was first introduced in a special outfit of Leedy Drums made for Geo. W. Marsh , Drummer of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.” So it looks like The Dupont Company had this finish in their catalog or possibly created this finish for Leedy.
2. Again from Catalog “O”: “Contrasting shades of gold always create a beautiful effect---so, here we have blended a satin and a bright Nobby Gold finish that attracts and holds the eye like magic. Drums such as these cannot fail to help you progress. ‘Full Dress’ finish Drums are not a fad---they are here to stay.” Once again I learned something new ; I always thought that “Full Dress” meant the diamond shaped (and other shapes) pearls and sparkles that were applied to the factory finish on a shell.
3. Harry Cangany suggested that maybe Colonial Gold was Leedy’s answer to Ludwig & Ludwig’s All Gold Model...?
As advertised, the 4 x 14 shell is in very good shape with no chips or cracks in the finish. All that was needed was a shot of Simple Green that cleaned off the surface dirt. The Colonial Gold finish had a nice 90 + year old patina so I left it alone.
All of the hardware is original and in very good condition. The Nobby Gold finish is all there but the years of wear has added a patina that I decided to leave as-is because it is consistent with the shell. All that I did was clean the hardware with Simple Green. There was a broken rivet on the Speedway strainer that was easily fixed by my machinist/welder Abe Abello. I say this every time but it’s worth repeating...Abe is worth his weight in gold, he has brought back to life many mangled original parts for me, he adds to the enjoyment of my hobby. An added bonus was that all 8 of the 4-screw lugs were completely crack free...dear diary!
Of-the-era calf heads and Snappi Snares rounded out this cleaning/restoration.