Since the design of the parts was identical for both names, Ludwig used the old parts until they ran out, and then replaced them with identical parts with the new brand. The same rule held true for badges to some extent. Shortly after the purchase of the Ludwig name, the decision was made to change the name to the Ludwig Drum Company.

They were strictly for inventory purposes, and any number could wind up on any drum. Due to the volume of drums Ludwig was producing at that time in response to the Ringo effect, a lot of badges were used and the bins were refilled as supplies got low. This resulted in a general indicator of drum age by serial number: Another method of dating most Ludwig drums is the rubber-stamped date on the inside the shell.

The dates are frequently smeared beyond the point of recognition, but by observing the ink color, you can approximate from which half of the decade your drum comes. One explanation for this is that the company put badges on the shells after applying their covering.

Shell Guide

When two rack toms first appeared on a set, they were the same size, and the same applied to floor toms and bass drums. If you favored a slightly smaller kit, the Hollywood outfit was the only five-piece offered. At the smaller end of the top-of-the-line sets was the Super Classic. Other kits that were regulars in the lineup were The New Yorker: And again looking from the date stamp perspective the shells with serial number badges and pre serial number badges overlap a bit. My Nov 18, Jazz fest has a pre serial number badge: Dec 15, 4.

Ludwig trans badge 1958

Dec 15, 5. Love tracking this type of information. Always looking here as well. Dec 15, 6. Thanks for sharing Rick. I have been looking at places like reverb and eBay to keep track of some of this stuff. Certainly does make me wonder if they actually did start with number one?

Ludwig Drum Badges In Snare Drums

In all these years of people collecting drums it seems odd to me that is the lowest recorded number. That is a lot of badges that are unaccounted for if in fact the badges started with number one. There won't be any way to tell unless someone comes up with a really low number.


  • Serial Guide.
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Dec 15, 7. So of course curiosity got the best of me and I looked around a little myself. I happened upon this New Yorker set that is stamped Sep 25 with pre serial badges. I also reread the post as I sometimes miss obvious things and saw that the snare Mike reported was serial number It still makes me wonder where the numbers started. I have no idea how the badges came shipped to ludwig but if I were to presume they were in a box then I wonder what box they started with?

Maybe they got a batch of boxes and higher numbers were given out first?

Dating your Ludwig

I will say though it's not totally accurate it does seem for the most part that Ludwig seemed to use up badges in a sequential fashion. It would be interesting to know who actually received the badges when they came in to Ludwig, where they were kept, if they were put away in any order, if they were passed out in any order or if they went straight from shipping to work stations.

It almost seems like the Ringo craze may have actually been a blessing in terms of dating things because the workers were so busy making product they didn't have time to stockpile stuff. It almost looks like materials were being used up as fast as it came in which makes the numbers on our end a little more consistent.

Here is the Sep 25 set.


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It's interesting to me to see that this set is only roughly 16 days older than the serial number jazzfest yet this set has no serial number badges. Of course as we can see from Zenstat its entirely possible to see that pre serial badges were used on drums after serial number badges arrived so there is the possibility that this Sep set just has pre serial badges even though serial numbered badges were already around.

Ludwig black and white badge - Vintage Drum Forum

We won't know that until someone comes up with a drum older than Oct 10 that has a serial number. Dec 15, 8. Dec 15, 9. Thanks for the info Rick. It's funny how I can look at an old thread that I even had discussion in and forget some of it.