Thursday, May 28, 2015

The George B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum

Historical Overview | Dating Guide Part I | Dating Guide Part II

First introduced in 1922, the Master-Model Drum was George B. Stone & Son's premier snare drum offering and remains the most recognizable and iconic instrument produced by the company. Originally marketed as the "All-Weather Drum", the name "Master-Model" was adopted by late 1922.

Geo. B. Stone Advertisement, September 1922
Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, September 1922
Geo. B. Stone Advertisement, December 1922
Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, December 1922

The Stone Master-Model snare drums were built from 5" x 14" staggered three-ply all maple shells, not single-ply maple as is sometimes reported. Slight variations in shell depth exist but the Master-Model was cataloged in only one size. Hoops were constructed from a single ply of maple and were matched specifically to each drum.

Geo B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum, Catalog K - 1925
Geo. B. Stone & Son Catalog K, 1925
Geo B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum, Catalog K - 1925
Geo. B. Stone & Son Catalog K, 1925

Master-Model snare drums were offered in a variety of finishes but the most common by far was what Stone described as "Black De Luxe Finish" with "Nickel Trimmings". Hardware was also available in "Nobby Gold finish", a faux gold plating, at an additional charge. Natural maple is the second most commonly seen finish on Master-Model snare drums with "White De Luxe Finish" being less common.

1922 George B. Stone % Son Master-Model snare drum1923 Geo B. Stone % Son Master-Model snare drum
Antique George B. Stone % Son Master-Model DrumVintage Geo B. Stone % Son Master-Model Snare Drum ca. mid - late 1920s

Examples in wrapped finishes including white marine pearl, black diamond pearl, silver sparkle, gold sparkle, and red sparkle were also produced but are less common. An all-metal Master-Model built around a solid aluminum shell with polished aluminum hoops was first introduced in 1925 but was produced only in small quantities. The Stone Master-Models were sold in dwindling numbers into the mid to late 1930s with more than 800 drums ultimately being built.

ca. mid 1930s George B. Stone % Son Master-Model Drum in White Marine Pearlca. late 1920s - early 1930s Stone Master-Model Drum in Sparkling Silver Pyralin

In the next post we'll have Part I of the Stone Master-Model Dating Guide.

Do you have a Stone Master-Model? I would love to hear about it! Feel free to send Lee an email anytime at lee@vinson.net. And for more on the other turn of the century Boston-based drum makers, please visit BostonDrumBuilders.com.