|The latest arrival into the collection is an early George B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum in very good condition. (This would be Master-Model number ten, but who's counting...) The drum is finished in the commonly seen black lacquer with nickel plated hardware. As is consistent with other Master-Models from the first two years of production, the drum bears a rosewood grommet and a Stromberg butt plate. The drum is tensioned using the fully rounded 'first generation' Master-Model nuts. The most unique aspects of this find, however, are found inside of the drum. |
For one, there is a large paper label applied to the inside of the shell, presumably placed there by the drum shop who sold or repaired the drum. The label reads "Hammond & Gerlach / Drum Specialists / Largest Drum School in Pennsylvania / Expert Drum and Banjo Repairing / Telephone Atlantic 3887 / 624 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA." Advertisements from 1926 describe Hammond & Gerlach as dealers of Stone, Ludwig, Leedy, and Barry Drums and Traps and here is evidence of that.
W. F. "Bill" Hammond was a renowned performer and teacher in his day. Malcolm M. "Heine" Gerlach was a four time National Champion Drummer of the American Legion Contest, a former member of the Grand Theater orchestra, and at one time a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Both men were both founding members of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers along with George Lawrence Stone. This personal connection with Stone formed through the American Legion National Conventions which ultimately yielded the founding of N.A.R.D. might explain why a dealer in Pittsburgh was selling Geo. B. Stone & Son drums when the most of the company's sales were localized to New England.
|So it was Hammond and Gerlach's shop who either sold or repaired this drum once upon a time. And in an amazing coincidence my teacher from college, John H. Beck, took lessons at this very drum shop as a high school student. Now how about that for a backstory?|
Do you have a George B. Stone & Son Master-Model drum? I would love to hear about it! Drop Lee a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on Boston's early 20th century drum makers, please visit BostonDrumBuilders.com.