Gretsch snare drum dating
Slingerland experimented with veneers more than any other company.
They have a much larger range of coverings for their drums than almost any other company and many veneers from different years are extremely similar.
Fortunately drum companies since the 40's were good at printing catalogs.
Earlier catalog examples do exist, but are rare and expensive to acquire.
That being said some drums did get date stamped on the inside shell and that is the most accurate indication when a drum was made.
The problem was that the stamp was created with an ink that easily wiped off during routine cleanings!
I also get people asking what factory a drum might have shipped from or the exact month a drum was made or even the production numbers etc.
These catalogs although re-printed in some cases from year to year with limited changes do provide a timeline of when finishes were added and when hardware was used and or changed on drums.The veneers were also reissued occasionally and can make dating a Slingerland drum difficult.The best way to date a drum by veneer is to find a veneer guide online, such as the Slingerland finish guide on and compare pictures of your Slingerland drum with pictures of dated veneers.Slingerland is a drum manufacturer originally based out of Chicago, Ill., that has produced quality drum sets and snare drums since 1928.The drum brand was famously played by Buddy Rich, who's still considered one of the greatest drummers of all time.