Dating ludwig drums by serial
The manufacturing division at Ludwig was divided into two basic departments: the wood shop and final assembly.Shells were constructed, wrapped in mylar, and date stamped in the wood shop.Due to the time lapse between when a shell was date stamped and when the badge was installed, some of the drums assembled on the same day with closely matching serial numbers had date stamps that were months apart from one another It also meant that some of the drums with production date stamps close to one another, would have badges with serial numbers that were tens of thousands of digits apart.Further adding to the creation of discrepancies was Ludwig’s method of storing, retrieving and installing badges. Ludwig explained, “Most of the time when a new shipment of badges came in from our manufacturer, we still had a few boxes of them left in stock, so we just stacked the new boxes in together with the old ones.So, thinking the badge was unoriginal, I inspected it’s condition and grommet as well as the interior of the drum shell for signs that the factory original badge had been removed and replaced by the one on the drum.My inspection confirmed that the badge was original.
We didn’t try to keep the boxes in order or try to install badges in order by serial numbers.
(For detailed information on inspecting and authenticating vintage drums, see ““) The explanation of the cause of so large a discrepancy came unexpectedly during one of my conversations with Mr.
Ludwig when he happened to mention this to me, “Once in a while we found a misplaced box of badges that was overlooked and sitting around the factory for a couple of years.
For those of you who enjoy mathematics, the formula is: 800,000 (the approximate aggregate of serial numbers used 1964 through 1969 based on our serial number index), divided by six (the quantity of years spanning 1964 through 1969), equals 133,000 (the average yearly increase in the serial number progression).
Based on this calculation, Chart #2 shows a cumulative yearly growth of 133,000 serial numbers from 1964 through 1969. Gerlach how close our yearly serial number estimate was to the drum company’s yearly drum production output.