The snare mechanism present here is an evolved version of Dodge's "Combined Snare Strainer and Muffler". The original design (for which a patent was applied but apparently never granted) used a thin lever to engague and disengague the snares. Nokes & Nicolai's updated version used a thin metal tab positioned at the top of the mechanism to switch the snares on and off. Despite evolutions in other areas of drum making, a more modern snare butt never arrived at Nokes & Nicolai. The wires are held in place opposite of the strainer by a simple snare anchor.
Do you have an drum made by Nokes & Nicolai? I would love to see it! Feel free to send Lee an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on the early 20th century snare drum makers of Boston, Massachusetts please visit BostonDrumBuilders.com or follow @old_boston_drums on instagram.