Pepper Snare Drum

Pepper Snare Drum

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Description (Brief)

This drum was made by J.W. Pepper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. about 1898. It is a snare drum, with a wood shell with a painted “U. S.” shield, painted wood hoops, 8 metal tension rods, metal leg support and strap hoop.

This instrument is a military regulation drum with a U.S. shield painted on the shell. It is the style of drum that Pepper furnished the U.S. Army during the Spanish War in 1898. One government. contract in June 1898 was for 2000 of these drums.

James Welsh Pepper (1853-1919), was an American music publisher and musical instrument maker and importer Pepper started his business as a small print shop and teaching music lessons, in 1875. By 1877, he opened a retail store in Philadelphia, selling sheet music and musical instruments. When a second location was opened in New York in 1880, Pepper established a relationship with London-born musical instrument maker, Henry Distin, to manufacture instruments for sale in his shops. By 1886, Pepper had expanded his business with a shop in Chicago. In 1910, Pepper discontinued manufacturing instruments but continued to import instruments from Europe until the beginning of WWI. After Pepper’s death in 1919, the focus of the business was on music publishing.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca 1898
J. W. Pepper & Son
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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