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I also think that they continued the B/O badge to 81 or 82. I also got a tip from "vintage-drum-net.de" pointing to a site "ludwigdrummer.com". If I find some clues to deciphering the ludwig serials I'll post them here.
Not that any of this really matters as all you can do is pinpoint your drums to either early or late 70s.....early 60s, etc. They have *some* serial info available, but it's not much.
Shells were constructed, wrapped in mylar, and date stamped in the wood shop.
Then the shells were drilled and hardware, heads and badges were installed in final assembly. “The shells were made in advance of the orders coming in.
For example, when a badge that was out of circulation for three months was eventually installed on a drum, its serial number would be lower than, and discrepant to, the more current badges being installed, by an amount of 33,000 digits.
Refilling the assemblers’ badge bins was also a source of a limited amount of discrepancies.
The badge itself is a clue....pointy corners is one of the first few years...rounded the corners off in about 71 or so.
After that, you can look for interior of shells, etc for clues.
When assembly needed a certain size shell in a particular finish, it was pulled from the shelf and sent off to them.We didn’t try to keep the boxes in order or try to install badges in order by serial numbers.Our main concern was to keep things moving.” Since there wasn’t any system of stock rotation whereby the boxes were used in the order received, I asked Mr.Ludwig about the probability of a leftover box or two stagnating for months at the bottom of a stack. Ludwig replied, “I would say in all likelihood that’s just what happened.” At a production rate of about 11,000 drums per month, it meant that for each month that passed, the serial numbers on the unused badges inside of a stagnant box would fall 11,000 digits behind the progressing sequence of serial numbers.After a period of time, when the stagnant box was opened and the badges went back in circulation, the serial numbers on those badges would naturally be out of sequence with the others.