It all started back in 1909 when William F. & Theobald Ludwig founded Ludwig & Ludwig Drum Company. In that same year, Ludwig made the first Ludwig bass drum pedal and two years later they rolled out their first Timpani model. They continued to introduce new drum products and in 1937, William established WFL Drum Company in Chicago. During the early to mid-40s, the company produced drums made with wooden hoops, lugs and rope tension or drums with only 10% metal content due to the war efforts and shortages of metal.
In 1951, Leedy & Ludwig was formed under Conn as a combination of Ludwig & Ludwig and Leedy. Four years later, William purchased the “Ludwig” name from Conn and formed The Ludwig Drum Company. The name was changed again in 1968 to Ludwig Industries.
In 1973, William F. Ludwig Senior passed away and William F. Ludwig Jr. became the president of the company. The company remained this way until 1981 when William F. Ludwig II retired and Ludwig was sold to The Selmer Company.
At the time of the company’s 100 year anniversary, the Ludwig product line expanded to offer drums at a lower cost while keeping a dominant Ludwig USA Manufacturing Facility in Monroe, CT. The company merged with CG Conn and Selmer in 2002 and remains a leading drum manufacturer to this day.
To learn more about the history of the Ludwig Drum Company, check out their website.