A Selection of Historic Photographs from the
William F. Ludwig II Archive
Bettie Ludwig and her brother, William F. Ludwig II, play together during the summer of 1921. The Ludwig & Ludwig Company instrument shown here was Bill Ludwig's first drum. It is now preserved in the William F. Ludwig II Drum Collection at the National Music Museum.
Interior view of the Ludwig & Ludwig Company factory located at 1611 North Lincoln Street in Chicago, 1917-1918. During World War I, the company produced thousands of field drums for the U.S. Army. These were all of three-ply, laminated wood construction, reinforced with triple rock-maple reinforcement rings of great strength. Tensioning was accomplished with rope strung through separate angle-hoop clamps.
William F. Ludwig Sr. (1879-1973), founder of the Ludwig & Ludwig Company, holds one of his first bass drum pedals made in 1909, the year of the company's founding. Other antique drum pedals are shown on top of the only square bass drum the company ever made. Behind him is a portion of the drum collection amassed by the Ludwig father and son team, including several drums now preserved in the William F. Ludwig II Drum Collection at the National Music Museum.
William F. Ludwig Sr. at work in his home studio at age 69. Many original Ludwig inventions came from his pen and helped propel the company forward in the many decades of his life. His designs are found in most of the drums and timpani throughout the world today.
In this historic photo, William F. Ludwig II (right) presents famed Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr (center), with a gold-plated Ludwig snare drum in 1962. The Ludwig logo was prominently featured on the bass drum of Ringo's drumset throughout the Beatles' career. Pictured with Ludwig and Starr is R. L. Schory, Ludwig's director of marketing.
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
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