Leedy Snare Drum

Leedy Snare Drum

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Description (Brief)

This snare drum was made by Leedy Drum Company in Chicago, Illinois, around 1900-1910. It has a plated metal shell with a metal center ridge, and skin heads. The hoops are made of metal and have 6 tensioning rods that hook over the hoops and are attached at two points on the hoop. There is a metal screw type snare device to adjust the gut snares, with a metal lever to activate the snares. There is an oval label on the top hoop that is inscribed:


This drum was likely sold through musical instruments dealers such as William F. and Theo Ludwig, one of the exclusive Leedy sales agents in Chicago. Around 1929, Conn acquired both Leedy and Ludwig and moved the manufacture of Leedy drums to Elkhart, Indiana.

This drum was used by William T. Armstrong (1879-1965), orchestra leader and musician in vaudeville and silent film theaters. Armstrong grew up in South River, New Jersey and began playing drums at the age of 14. He continued his musical career through the mid-1910s, after which, Armstrong began work in banking and finance. This artifact is part of a collection of drums, sound effect instruments, and other percussion instruments used by Armstrong.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 6 1/4 in x 14 1/4 in; 15.875 cm x 36.195 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Pamela A. Carlin and Evelyn A. Mark in memory of William T. Armstrong
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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