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LUDWIG

1900-1919

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.

1920-1929

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

1930-1939

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.

1940-1949

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.

1950-1959

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.

1960-1969

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

1970-1979

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.

1980-1989

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.

1990-1999

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.

2000-2009

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.

2010-Today

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