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Fortunately drum companies since the 40's were good at printing catalogs.
Earlier catalog examples do exist, but are rare and expensive to acquire.
These photos, together with the shape of a badge, can help you narrow your date down considerably.
Look at the bottom of your badge and note where the drum was manufactured.
In most cases they also included a host of other band instruments and items related to the music business.
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.
We also have to state that much of the record keeping was archaic at best and in some cases history was destroyed in plant fires or just tossed in the garbage! With that said many drum companies never even used serial numbers early on.
The problem was that the stamp was created with an ink that easily wiped off during routine cleanings!From 1961-86 they were manufactured in Niles, Ill., and for one year from 1965-66 they manufactured their drums in a plant in Shelby, Tenn. Copies of original Slingerland ads that show the drums in their original condition and note the dates they were sold can easily be found and purchased online.This is an accurate way to compare and date Slingerland drums.Slingerland drum company manufactured drums at many different locations throughout the years.For example, from 1928-61 their drums were manufactured in Chicago.
Even if a serial number badge does exist on a drum anomalies do occur and that is because the badges did not have an inventory control system.