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The start of the Ludwig Drum Company, and "The Most Famous Name on Drums"
  • 1909 – William F. & Theobald Ludwig Founds Ludwig & Ludwig Drum Company. 
  • 1909 – Ludwig makes the first Ludwig Bass Drum Pedal.
  • 1911 – Ludwig introduces their first Timpani model.
  • 1918 – Theobald Ludwig passes in the Great Flu Epidemic.


A decade of innovation for both Drum Set and Concert Percussion
  • Ludwig introduces Black Beauty Snare Drums - one of the most sought after snare drum sounds in the recording industry. Black Beauty Snare Drums are still produced today and sold around the world.
  • Ludwig introduces Balanced Action Timpani. 
  • Ludwig introduces the Gold Triumphal Snare Dru


During the great depression, William Ludwig Sr. sold Ludwig & Ludwig to CG Conn in Elkhart, IN. The Ludwig and Leedy brand were separate brands made in the same factory.
  • 1937, William F. Ludwig establishes a new drum company called WFL Drum Company in Chicago.
    • WFL competes with Ludwig branded drums made by CG Conn. 
    • WFL starts production on Damen Ave. in Chicago. 
  • 1938 - Bill Ludwig Jr. (AKA: The Chief) joins WFL
  • 1938 – WFL creates the 1st Speed King Bass Drum Pedal.


WFL Drums supports the war efforts and starts a new era in marketing.
  • Early to Mid-40’s – Due to the war efforts and shortages of metal, WFL Drum Company makes drums with wooden hoops, lugs and rope tension or drums with only 10% metal content. 
  • 1947 - Ludwig produces first post war catalog featuring Buddy Rich on the cover.


A decade of mergers and acquisitions sets up the future...
  • 1951 – Under Conn, Ludwig & Ludwig and Leedy are combined under the name Leedy & Ludwig. 
  • 1955 – William F. Ludwig (WFL) buys the “Ludwig” name from Conn to form The Ludwig Drum Company.


The decade that changed the music industry and the face of Ludwig Drums forever...
  • 1964 - Everything changes when Ringo Starr first appears with his Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl Drum Set with The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. 
  • 1964 - The Ludwig 400 Supra-Phonic Snare Drum is introduced.
  • 1966 – Ludwig acquires Musser Mallet Percussion to market Ludwig as “Total Percussion” –beginning years of dominance in the school percussion market.
  • 1968 - The company’s name is changed to Ludwig Industries


A decade of innovation and growth...
  • Ludwig becomes the leader with key artists performing on Ludwig including John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. 
  • Ludwig expands as school music markets explode…
  • 1972 - Ludwig introduces Vistalite Drums made from see-thru colored Plexiglas. 
  • 1973 – William F. Ludwig Senior passes. William F. Ludwig Jr. is named President of Ludwig.


The "Chief" retires and Ludwig is sold, again...
  • 1981 – William F. Ludwig II retires and sells Ludwig to The Selmer Company.
  • 1984 - Ludwig’s 75th anniversary of business, Ludwig Drums moves operations from Chicago to Monroe, NC.


New Decade, New Drums, 90 years in business...Ludwig as part of Selmer is merged with Steinway Pianos and goes public on the NYSE.
  • 1998 – Ludwig launches Classic Maple Series Drums
  • 1999 – Ludwig celebrates 90th Anniversary.


History comes full circle as Ludwig celebrates 100 Years...
  • Ludwig expands product offering with lower cost drums while maintaining a dominant Ludwig USA Manufacturing Facility in Monroe, NC. 
  • 2002 – Ludwig is merged with CG Conn and Selmer
  • 2008 – William F. Ludwig II (aka Jr.) passes
  • 2009 – Ludwig celebrates 100 years of business with new products, catalogs, collector’s editions. 
  • Ludwig re-introduces a limited production of the Gold Triumphal Snare Drum.


Ludwig enters a new decade with a passion for bridging the past to the future...
  • 2013 – Ludwig Introduces The BreakBeats Kit by Questlove.
  • 2011 – 2014 - Ludwig expands drum kit offering with the Element and Element Birch Series Drums.
  • 2015 – Ludwig introduces Legacy Mahogany outfits to the USA Made offering
  • 2016 – Ludwig introduces Ultimate Marching- signaling its return to the field
  • 2016 – Ludwig Introduces The Pocket Kit by Questlove -a professional level drum kit made for 4-10 year olds featuring video lessons by Questlove and friends. 
  • 2016 – Ludwig expands into the Intermediate drummer market with the Element Evolution- everything a drummer needs to take the next step to greatness

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