Drum Catalogs and Pearl Drum History
Drum Company started in the 1940's not as a drum maker, but
a maker of music stands. It was not until the 1950's that
the company started making instruments.
will pick up the history from the late 50's and learn more
about drum identification and the company's entry into the
import drum business. I contacted Gene Okamoto of the Pearl
Drum Company USA to see what early history was available.
discussions, I learned that Pearl USA is a subsidiary of Pearl
Musical Instruments in Japan and the history for Pearl USA
picks up in 1964. He did mention that two years ago (2008)
they did have all of their catalogs scanned and he is in the
process of organizing and preparing them for their web site.
prior to 1964 is handled by Pearl of Japan and they have it
in their archives. Even though it is troubling for a historian
not to be able to get to this information, it is still good
to know that it is there and some day we might all get to
a collector of all forms of drumming literature and history
my collection is not short of Pearl catalogs. The collection
of catalogs for drum set scans includes the catalogs by year
and a link to see all of the drum set configurations on one
page. (click the image to open new window)
web site is organized with a specific intent in mind and seeing
all of the sets on one page allows you to quickly see them
at a glance and narrow down your drums history much quicker.
your trying to ID snare drums then you can go to the Pearl
Snare Drums scans page.
The earliest badges we have on record come form the late 1950's
and they are on the badge page of the main vintage drum guide.
discussion of Pearl is not complete unless we star talking
about the entry of Pearl drums into the US market. We have
an excellent story that covers this topic on the main web
site. The story is an interesting read and covers the import
side of the Pearl business. Pearl imported drums under different
names and sold them to stores and drum shops.
Pearl drum building story picks up in the mid 60's when they
started importing their own Pearl Badged kits on a much larger
scale and that really is when the history is well documented
by the catalogs. You can see how the quality and products
changed from the 60's to the 70's and decade to decade ofter
the early 90's the Masters series introduced some of the best
quality Pearl drums and defines how the company became a maker
of some of the finest drums in the business.
are trying to date the history of your drums and when they
were made then use the image links above to go to the associated
sections on the main vintage drum guide. All of the different
Pearl sections on the main vintage drum guide are located
on one page. So you can bookmark the page and keep checking
back. (Click the Pearl logo to go to the Pearl
also have an extensive shopping
section set up on this web site for finding vintage and new
Pearl Drums on eBay. You can support our efforts by visiting
the main drum set shopping page and clicking on the searches
based on the different types of drumming products you are
you are trying to find parts or fine tune the history of your
drums then we would be able to help. You can email is here
for more information and we will point you in the right direction.