English Rogers serial numbers


Through most of the 60s B&H appear to have used the same format of serial number on its whole range of drums. This consists of an ink stamp inside the shell of a five (and later six) figure number with the words “Made in England” underneath.
It is likely that Ajax had no interest in these serial numbers. They may well have been introduced to for fill the needs of insurance companies and law enforcement rather than any reason relating to drum production. Less than half of the drums have a serial number, and there is no date implicit in the serial number itself, but those drums that do have one, show that the numbers are sequential. In order to use the number to date the drums this would require a few numbers for which the date of manufacture was known for certain, and these are shown below.
66536 - Mardi Gras drum kit which for various reasons I would date to late 1961.
96809 - English Dynasonic owned by Martin Black since being purchased on 12th December 1965 for which he still has the receipt.
These two numbers separated by 4 years with the application of a little arithmetic give a reasonable estimate of dates given by the serial number.
The following table is offered as a rough guide:
66356             Dec 61
74105             Dec 62
81673              Dec 63
89241              Dec 64
96809              Dec 65
104377            Dec 66
This method does make some assumptions:

  1. That the same proportion of drums were stamped with a serial number throughout production.
  2. That production remained fairly constant throughout.

It seems unlikely that either of these would have been the case, and certainly we might expect that production was declining towards the end. Despite this the above method does appear to give reasonable results and can be used in conjunction with the timeline below.

Date

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

Nut boxes (Lugs)

Bread and Butter

Beavertail

Snare Strainer

Circular Clock face

Elongated Strainer

Floor tom legs

Ajax Legs

 

Knobby Legs

Sparkles: Blue & Red

Sparkles

Pearls: Blue, White, Black.

Old Pearl Pattern

 

New Pearl Pattern (now including Red)

Grey Ripple

Grey Ripple

Dynasonic

 

Dynasonic

Plain COB Snare

 Plain COB Snare Drum (never seen one with beavertail lugs)

 Lacquered Brass

Lacquered Brass Snare Drum

 

 

 

In the chart above, production is shown to have ceased in 1968, and certainly there is a 1967/68 catalogue. However, in reality production would seem to have been concentrated up to the end of 1966. Very few sets surface which appear to have been made later than that date and those that do are not always entirely B&H manufacture. Eddie says that at some point Premier took over the production of B&H drums including English Rogers, and this can be seen in the sets that surface. From around mid 1967 some sets have occasional Premier parts. This may take the form of perhaps one or two shells being Premier-made, (Birch shell but grain running around the drum and later mahogany). On other sets the mixing of parts is more obvious. Some sets are a jumble of Premier and Rogers parts. It looks as if Premier were using up B&H’s stock of parts, as has so often happened in the history of drum manufacture.
This is not confined to English Rogers. Premier, also appear to have had a hand in the production of later Nu-Sound drum sets as well.  

I have seen a couple of kit similar to this. This is an Ajax Nu-Sound but notice that the grain on the bass drum is horizontal - like Premier used to make them. Notice also the Premier bass drum rods and the Premier tom mount. It looks like Premier were using the parts that B&H had left over which includes using English Rogers Grey Ripple wrap.