History of the Drumset: Part 3

1900’s – The Bass Drum Pedal


Ludwig patents a free-standing, spring-driven bass drum pedal. Although drummers have been experimenting with various foot-operated devices for decades, the Ludwig design is dependable, portable and helps establish the bass drum pedal as a permanent part of the drum set. Over 100 years later, Ludwig’s basic pedal design is the one we still use.


One of the earliest non-overhang pedals.

The original Ludwig pedal was patented in 1909.

Another early bass drum pedal.

An early advertisement for the Ludwig pedal.

The late 1800s and early 1900s saw a flood of immigrants coming into the Untied States.Ragtime showmen like Buddie Gilmore make some of the first recordings that prominently feature a drummer.


1963 The Vic Firth Company is Founded

Vic Firth launches his company with some of the most popular sticks and mallets in production today: the T1 General Timpani Mallet and SD1 General Snare Drum Stick. Committed to producing the highest quality products, these iconic sticks and mallets are still the world’s best sellers over 60 years later!

1983 Signature Series

Vic Firth launches the Steve Gadd signature model and becomes the first company to produce signature drumsticks that reflect the true musical requirements of the artist. To this day, each model is conceived through extensive research with the world’s top players.

1994 Stone Grinding

Vic begins producing sticks in center-less stone grinders rather than traditional lathes. A first for the industry, stone grinding increases quality, consistency, and allows for more complex design elements such as unique tip shapes and tapers.

2002 Injection Molded Nylon Tips

Vic solves the age old problem of nylon tips flying off by developing an injection molding system whereby the stick and the tip become one! For the first time in drumstick history, nylon tips mirror the shape and profile of their wood counterparts!


For nearly 60 years, we at the Vic Firth Company have focused on developing and manufacturing what has become the world’s most popular drumsticks, mallets, alternative implements, and accessories… with the best durability, feel, and sound options, across the widest variety of genres and styles.

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