| Dating Guide
Long before the introduction of George B. Stone & Son
's iconic Master-Model drum
there was the Separate Tension Orchestra Drum. Manufactured throughout the 1910s and 1920s, the Separate Tension models were Stone & Son's premier snare drum offerings before the Master-Model debuted in 1922. Catalogued as early as 1912, a strong advertising push was made to promote the Separate Tension Drums during the late 1910s.
Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, September 1918||
Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, July 1919|
Geo. B. Stone & Son's Separate Tension Drums were offered in a wide range of sizes. Catalog K, released in 1925, lists 'Orchestra' models in seven sizes: 3" x 14", 4" x 14", 5" x 14", 6" x 14", 4" x 15", 5" x 15" and 6" x 15". Half size shell depths including 3.5", 4.5", 5.5" and 6.5" were listed in earlier catalogs. Larger models, refered to by Stone as 'Band Drums', were available in sizes ranging from 8" x 15 to 14" x 17".
| Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, March 1920|| Geo. B. Stone & Son Advertisement, July 1922|
The overwhelming majority of Separate Tension Drums were produced with a natural maple finish. Stone also offered a "De Luxe" black enamel finish at an additional cost. Catalogs described this model as the "Black Beauty Separate Tension Snare Drum" predating both Slingerland and Ludwig's use of the moniker to advertise their ornately engraved metal-shell drums.
William F. McIntosh
's patented snare mechanism, catalogued by Stone as the "Stone Patent Snare Strainer and Muffler
", came standard on all Separate Tension models. Most versions of the strainer were stamped "PAT. FEB 9, 1909" and "STONE". Earlier examples are often stamped "McINTOSH" instead of "STONE". The Separate Tension drums were not outfitted with butt plates. Instead, a simple snare anchor held the snares in place against the bottom counterhoop opposite of the strainer. Early snare anchors were leather while later ones are formed from a black, synthetic material. Advertising from the early 1910s listed "flexible waterproof woven or hand oiled and rubber gut snares" while later catalogs listed "wire-silk, amber gut, or coiled wire snares".
Separate Tension drums were outfitted with slotted tension rods which passed through nickel plated, cast metal hooks fiting over the wooden counterhoops. Stone's proprietary tube lugs varied in length depending on the depth of the drum. Orchestra models recieved single-post tube lugs while the deeper Band models utilized longer tube lugs with two posts. Factory workers typically installed a single washer between each tube lug post and the shell. Stone's tube lugs are unique in that they were mounted using very long screws which passed from the inside of the drum, through the lug post, and all the way into the tube itself. Fourteen inch drums normally featured twelve lugs. Larger diametar drums commonly have fourteen.
In the next post we will have the George B. Stone & Son Separate Tension Drum Dating Guide
documenting the evolution of these drums over their more than twenty years in production.
Do you have a Stone Separate Tension drum? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send Lee an email at email@example.com. And for more on George B. Stone & Son and the other turn of the century Boston-based drum makers, please visit BostonDrumBuilders.com.