Gretsch snare drum dating
Clues to be used in dating a Slingerland drum can be found all around the drum and can help you occasionally home in on an exact date of the drum.
The lack of accurate serial number recording and large overlaps and reissues of shell veneers and labels can make dating the drums slightly more difficult than other drum brands. The drum badge is one of the easiest ways to accurately date a Slingerland drum. From 1928-1948, Slingerland used metal badges with a more floral shape.
Slingerland drum company manufactured drums at many different locations throughout the years.
For example, from 1928-61 their drums were manufactured in Chicago.
That being said some drums did get date stamped on the inside shell and that is the most accurate indication when a drum was made.
The problem was that the stamp was created with an ink that easily wiped off during routine cleanings!
In 1949 they switched to round badges in solid metal colors.
In most cases the best way to estimate the date of a drum is its physical characteristics.
I think in general serial numbers do play an important role in the commercial market especially electronics and other high end items.
In the 60's Insurance companies made it mandatory that serial numbers be put on items so they can be documented.
Even if a serial number badge does exist on a drum anomalies do occur and that is because the badges did not have an inventory control system.
A more historical perspective and history of this practice was documented by Vintage Drum Center and can be read here.