Greetings Vintage Drum Fans!
When I first began my collection many years ago, it was almost all Ludwig drums. As my playing grew to include different styles of music, so did my love for the other American drum companies of the 20th century. And the goal now is to have an example of all these great manufacturers. One brand of drums that I thought would be difficult to come by would be a set from the short-lived Leedy & Ludwig line that was owned by CG Conn Co. I'm now extremely proud to add this immaculate beautiful example of a great and short-lived drum company to my collection.
The set is all original right down to all the original calfskin heads on all the drums top and bottom. The set was barely played and cased for most of it life. A true time capsule if there ever was one. This set came to me from a member of The Vintage Drum Forum who also lives here in Southern California. And I can’t thank him enough!
The kit sizes are 14x22, 8x12,16x16 and a 5.5x14 Broadway snare. The Leedy & Ludwig line of drums only lasted for 4 years from 1951-1955 and those who know vintage drum history will agree the build on these kits is superior. Another interesting part on this drum set is that the cymbal arm mount on the bass drum is an very early example of a George Way/Camco/DW turret lug.George Way worked at Leedy and Ludwig at this time and this design is what Camco and later DW drums lugs are designed after.The color on the kit has nicely aged into the dreamy (what collectors call) "Aqua Blue Sparkle" and there is no fade or issues on the drums.The tom and floor tom are date stamped 5308 (August 1953) and the bass drum and snare are dated 5311 (November 1953).A little quick history re: Leedy & Ludwig drums with thanks to Rob Cook:
"Ulysses G. Leedy sold his company to The CG Conn Co. in 1929. At nearly the same time, Conn purchased the financially weakened Ludwig & Ludwig drum company. Conn moved both companies to Elkhart Indiana where both lines of drums were produced in the same building. George Way and most of the rest of the Leedy executive staff moved to Elkhart and continued their product developments without major disruption. Wm. F. Ludwig had also moved to Elkhart, but found it difficult to work in such an arrangement and quit to return to Chicago where he founded his own company, WFL, in 1937. George Way continued to head up the growth and development of the Leedy Drum Company throughout the 1930s as a Conn division. In the aftermath of WWII, which had totally disrupted Conn's drum divisions, it was decided to combine Ludwig & Ludwig with Leedy, creating the Leedy & Ludwig drum company. This new division became operational in 1951. Conn decided to discontinue the unprofitable Leedy & Ludwig division four years later in 1955."
This line of drums was short lived but produced some of the finest instruments of the time. I’m very excited to be able to climb aboard this time machine to make music. The wonderful feeling of playing a vintage drum set is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Until next time, PLAY those drums!