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Ludwig & Ludwig, home of the Ludwig Black Beauty bow, was formed in 1909 by the brothers William F. and Theo Ludwig. The brothers started their innovative designs in a simple garage in Chicago, with their first innovation a bass drum pedal that was faster and much better than anything available at the time.
In 1916 the brothers came up with the spring promotion that would become the basis for the current Balanced Action Pedal Timpani.
In the mid-1920s, the brothers became famous for making some of & # 39; the world's best ukulele banjo & # 39; s still appreciated among collectors today.
When the great depression of the 1930s struck, the company merged with the C.G. Conn Company, but William was not happy with the new structure and left in 1936 to form his own company, the W.F.L. Drum Company, with the famous Speed King pedal as one of the first products still manufactured by Ludwig.
Ludwig was bought back from Conn in 1955 and re-launched as the Ludwig Drum Company.
The new company struggled for almost 10 years, until 1963 when an upcoming band from Liverpool, The Beatles, encountered a set in a shop window in London. The band ran through London when Ringo saw the kit and immediately fell in love.
After appearing on the Ed Sullivan show with his new kit and that famous Ludwig log on the bass drum, sales rose.
In 1966 the now successful Ludwig de Musser bought the Marimba Company and as a token of gratitude to Ringo for changing their fortune, Gifted Ringo with a gilded snare drum.
John "Bonzo" Bonham from Led Zeppelin was the next superstar drummer to use Ludwig drums. His famous amber-colored Vistalite drum set is synonymous with rock drum from the 70s. Vistalite was the trade name that Ludwig used in the 1970s for his line of acrylic barrels.
After the death of his father in 1973, William F. took Ludwig, Jr. the reins over and the company eventually became part of The Selmer Company in 1981.
From that first day in that barn in Chicago, the company has always been at the forefront of innovation by introducing many materials that had never before been thought of in the production of barrels. In addition to the Vistalite barrels, the company also produced stainless steel barrels, but due to high production costs, production stopped in the early 1980s.
The now famous and most wanted snare drum, the Ludwig Black Beauty was first made in the 1920s. The Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum, a hand-engraved black nickel-plated copper shell drum, is highly appreciated by collectors and players alike. The Black Beauty was reissued in the late 1970s, non-engraved or machine engraved, and reissued in the 1990s.
When the Ludared Black Beauty snare drum was re-introduced in the late 1970s, they were re-made in brass. While the company changed ownership in the early 1980s, the drum switches to bronze, which happened for economic reasons.
It enjoys a current revival and is a coveted addition to most collections.