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  #1  
Old 12-21-2008, 12:26 PM
gotham gotham is offline
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Default Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to find out any information about a very old Gretsch snare drum. I have catalog scans going back to 1941, and this drum seems to be much earlier. Here are the specs:
  • 5"x14" Nickle Over Brass Shell, engraved "Gretsch American"
  • Eight nickel-plated tube lugs
  • Nickel Over Steel hoops
  • Looks like the original heads and snares
  • Probably the original snare stand
I'm trying to find out if anyone has any idea how old it might be, if anyone knows anything more about this model, and what this drum might be worth. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:08 PM
Roscoe Roscoe is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

Lovely piece.

I must defer to our own Mr. Curotto for the details.

Honestly, it's the first one I've seen...

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  #3  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:42 PM
gotham gotham is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roscoe View Post
Lovely piece.

I must defer to our own Mr. Curotto for the details.

Honestly, it's the first one I've seen...
Yeah, I've been collecting since the 80's and have never even heard of this model!

Any and all info greatly appreciated...

Cheers!
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2008, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

I have looked at this drum a few times. You figure with the tube lugs and the strainer (which looks replaced) that it is late 20's or 30's as stated


There is an extra hole on the shell.

That 2 point strainer looks early 30's to me and very much like the Leedy Presto

So, it should have had a 3-point strainer or there is an extra hole.

Unfortunately I do not have any Gretsch stuff that early.

David

Last edited by Webmaster; 12-21-2008 at 11:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2008, 11:16 PM
Jim Jim is offline
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Red face Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

I was reading Aldridge's "Guide to Vintage Drums" and it mentions that in the late 20's Gretsch was still largely a distributer to other drum companies.

Would it be possible that the shell was engraved by Gretsch as "Gretsch American" who then distributed it to another company who put their hardware on it and called it something else...?? So maybe there wasn't a drum called a Gretsch American?

I have never had the pleasure of even touching a Gretsch drum... I'm just tossing that idea out from doing this little bit of reading.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2008, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

Yes, that is correct. You here a lot today about custom drum builders using other manufacturers parts and not really being "Custom Builders".

All of the early builders were doing this exact thing.


Read this section about early Rogers, they were using different parts to build drums in the 30's



David

Last edited by Webmaster; 12-22-2008 at 12:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2008, 12:50 AM
gotham gotham is offline
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Default Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmaster View Post
That 2 point strainer looks early 30's to me and very much like the Leedy Presto

So, it should have had a 3-point strainer or there is an extra hole.
Yeah, there is a mark on the shell below the third hole that seems to indicate a 3-point strainer at one point. I wish I knew when it was replaced, and why. I'd guess a long time ago - this drum is in really nice shape, and doesn't look like it saw much use over the past several decades. The snare side calfskin head is pristine!

Thank you everyone for your comments. I wish I could find a Gretsch catalogue from the 20's to see what they were up to way back in the day...
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:43 AM
vadrums vadrums is offline
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Default Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

I had an 6 i/2 X 14 "Gretsch American" snare. The badge was small and rectangular...
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:40 PM
Rich K. Rich K. is offline
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Default Re: Question about 20's/30's Gretsch "American" 8-lug NOB Snare

There are few of those around...I've seen them in metal and wood. They often had Slingerland or Liberty 3 pt. throw offs. There was a sea green pearl one that floated around a couple of drum shows and was traded by a couple of collectors. The throw off on your drum is a Premier copy of the the Leedy throw off. You see these on some early Gretsch "rocket lug" drums, and real similar looking early Rogers drums. There's a great article on those Rogers somewhere on this site.
I'd guess the drum would get between $175 and $300 on ebay. Cool drum...
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