1800-1849 – Joseph Rogers immigrates from Ireland to form the Joseph Rogers and Son Co. in Manchester, New Jersey
1854 – Silas Noble and James P. Cooley begin building toy drums in Silas’ Massachusetts farmhouse.
1856 – Silas Nobel and James Cooley form the Noble and Cooley Co.
1872 – Freidrich Gretsch immigrates to the US from Mannheim, Germany
1875 – Sonor founded in Germany
1883 – Friedrich Gretsch founds a small musical instrument shop in Brooklyn, New York
1885 – Friedrich Gretsch dies while vacationing in Heigleberg, Germany. His son Fred (Sr.) takes over the company at age 15.
1889 – Noble & Cooley Co. moves factory to Granville, Massachusetts
1890 – U.G. Leedy goes to Fostoria, Ohio to play with the Empire theatre orchestra
1890 – George B. Stone founds the Geo. B. Stone & Son Co. in Boston, Massachusetts
1890 – Fred Gretsch moves the operations to a three story plant at 104 South 4th Street in Brooklyn.
1894 – U.G. Leedy goes to Toledo, Ohio to play with the Peoples Theatre Orchestra
1895 – U.G. Leedy and clarinet player Sam Cooley meet while playing with the orchestra of the English Opera House in Indianapolis.
1896 – U.G. Leedy makes first Leedy drums in Toledo, Ohio
1898 – U.G. Leedy opens Leedy-Cooley Mfg. Co. in basement of the Cyclorama Building in Indianapolis, Indiana
1903 – U.G. Leedy buys out Cooley’s interest in Leedy-Cooley Manufacturing Co.
1903 – Leedy moves the Leedy Co. from the Cyclorama Bldg. to the factory at Palmer and Barth streets, both in Indianapolis, IN
1909 – William and Theobald Ludwig begin Ludwig and Ludwig marketing a bass drum pedal of their design
1910 – George H. Way goes to work for George B. Stone & Son Drum Mfg. Co. of Boston, Mass.
1915 – (approx.) Geo. H. Way moves north to start Advance Drum Co. in Edmonton, Altberta, Canada
1916 – Gretsch once again outgrew its facility and Fred built a ten story factory & warehouse at 60 Broadway, where it remains today.
1918 – Theobald Ludwig dies
1920-1922 – Geo. H. Way leaves Advance Drum Co. to take a job a Leedy Drum Co.
1923 – Geo. Way, Leedy sales manager at the time, starts the "Leedy Drum Topics". The company newsletter and ‘drum magazine’.
1927 – H.H. Slingerland of the Slingerland Banjo Co. begins making drums due to Ludwig & Ludwig Drum Co. entering the banjo market
1928 – H.H. Slingerland changes the name of his company from the Slingerland Banjo Co. to the Slingerland Banjo & Drum Co.
1928 – Gretsch opens sales office in Chicago, Il
1929 – October – U.G. Leedy sells Leedy Manufacturing Co. to G.C. Conn Manufacturing Co. of Elkhart, Indiana due to health and the
1929 – (late) William F. Ludwig sells Ludwig & Ludwig to Conn
1929 – Cleveland S. Rogers (Joseph’s grandson) takes over Rogers and Son Co.
1930 – Spring – C.G. Conn Co.’s president, C.D. Greenleaf, orders Leedy factory moved from Indianapolis to Elkhart, IN.
1930 – U.G. Leedy forms the General Products Co. (L&S) with long time Leedy employee Cecil Strupe (who later worked for WFL,
Gretsch and Ludwig)
1931 – Conn moves Leedy and Ludwig and Ludwig operations to Elkhart, Indiana.
1931 – January 7, U.G. Leedy dies leaving L&S under control of his son, E.H. (Hollis) Leedy
1935 – Duke Kramer joins the Chicago office of Gretsch. Later he becomes vice president of the Chicago office.
1936 – Cecil Strupe leaves General Products (L&S) to go to work for W.F.L.
1937 – Gretsch & Billy Gladstone announce partnership & introduce the Gretsch-Gladstone Drum, shown in the 1939 Gretsch catalogue.
1937 – (approx.) Wm. F. Ludwig and Bill Ludwig, Jr. leave Conn to form William F.Ludwig Drum Co. (W.F.L.)
1942 – Fred Gretsch, Sr. retires & names Fred Gretsch Jr. president.
1942 – Geo. H. Way leaves Conn’s Leedy Division to start George H. Way Co.
1946 – Phil Grant is hired as head of promotions & sales of Gretsch’s drum department.
1946 – Geo. H. Way leaves George H. Way Co. to take on a job with Slingerland
1948 – Geo. H. Way returns to Conn/Leedy at their request
194? – Gretsch introduces 20" bass drum.
1950 – Geo. B. Stone Co. ceases operations
1950 – Ralph G. Eames buys Geo. B. Stone Co.’s tooling
1950 – C.G. Conn Co. merges the Leedy Co. and Ludwig and Ludwig to form Leedy and Ludwig.
1951 – Geo. H. Way is put in charge to merge Conn’s interests in Leedy and Ludwig & Ludwig to form Leedy & Ludwig
1953 – Cleveland Rogers sell Rogers and Son Co. to Henry Grossman, of Grossman Music, who moves the company to Covington, Ohio
1954 – Geo. H. Way leaves Conn, purchases the factory operated by Conn’s Leedy and Ludwig Div. in Elkhart, IN and reopens George H.Way Co.
1954 – Bud Slingerland buys Leedy Co.’s dies and patents from C.G. Conn Co. for $90,000US.
195? – Mid 50’s Gretsch switches from 3-ply shells (made in the Brooklyn factory) to 6-ply shells made by Jasper Wood Products, Jasper, Indiana. About this same time, Gretsch began painting the interior of the shells silver. Prior to that the interiors were natural.
1955 – Conn Co. sells Leedy and Ludwig inventory to Indiana Music after the knob tension drum fiasco.
1955 – early – Leedy & Ludwig cease operations. Conn sells Ludwig & Ludwig name with all designs and patents and tooling to W.F. Ludwig, Jr. for $90,000US.
195? – Ben Grossman buys the Rogers Co. from Cleveland Rogers
1957 – Gretsch celebrates 75th anniversary with a "Diamond Jubilee Edition" catalogue. Special sets were covered with "Anniversary
Sparkle" pearl. About the same time Gretsch sponsored "Gretsch Drum Nights" at Birdland.
1957 – Geo. H. Way Co. begins producing Aristocrat and Spartan model snare drums
1959 – Slingerland moves from Chicago to Niles, Illinois
1959 – Geo. H. Way Co. begins producing bass drums and tom toms
1961 – John Rochon, pres. of Camco, buys controlling interest in Geo. H. Way Drum Co.-Camco expands from hardware into drums.
1962 – Geo. H. Way loses control of George H. Way Co. to Camco Drum Accessory Co. of Oaklawn, Illinois due to debt owed Camco
1962 – Camco moves all production from Elkhart, Indiana to Oaklawn, California.
1962 – Geo. H. Way goes to work for Rogers for a short time
1963 – (approx.) Geo. H. Way starts G.H.W. Drum Co.
1965 – Slingerland discontinues Leedy as its second line drums
1966 – Rogers is purchased by Columbia Broadcasting Company, Inc. (CBS)
1966 – Fibes Drum Co. comes into being in Farmingdale, NY through the efforts of Bob Grauso and John Morena.
1967 – Fred Gretsch, Jr. sells Gretsch to Baldwin Piano Co. who moves operations to Arkansas.
1969 – CBS moves entire Rogers operation to Fullerton, California
1969 – George H. Way dies
1970 – Fibes Drum Co. is sold to C.F. Martin Co. Martin closes the company soon thereafter.
1971 – June – Kustom Electronics Co. buys Camco and moves them to Chanute, Kansas
1972 – (approx.) Selmer buys Ludwig Drum Co.
1973 – William F. Ludwig, Sr. dies. William F. Ludwig, Jr. takes his place on the board of directors of Ludwig division of Selmer
1973 – August – Beckman Musical Instruments buys Camco and moves them to Los Angeles, California
1977 – (approx.) Joe McSweeney buys the Geo. B. Stone Co. from Ralph Eames
1978 – Don Lombardi buys Camco’s tooling and begins mfg. Drum Workshop Drums (DW) fashioned after the Camco style.
1978 – Hoshino of Japan, a.k.a. Tama, buys the Camco name from Beckman Musical Instrument Co.
1979 – (approx.) Slingerland is sold to Gretsch
1979 – Wording on Gretsch badge changed.
1979 – Rogers moves to Monrovia, California
1979 – C.F. Martin Co. sells the Fibes fixtures & tooling to Jim Corder who moves the company to Huntsville, Alabama.
1980 – (approx.) Fred Gretsch acquires all designs, patents and rights to both the Leedy and Slingerland names
1981 – Rogers entire operation back to Fullerton, California after an unsuccessful attempt to produce drums in San Luis, Mexico
1982 – Baldwin sells Gretsch to Charles Roy.
1983 – Gretsch celebrates Centennial Anniversary with special sets with numbered badges.
1983 – Baldwin is forced to take back Gretsch.
1983 – Fred Gretsch III buys Gretsch from Baldwin and moves the company to South Carolina.
198? – Jim Corder sells Fibes to Sammy Darwin who renames the company Darwin Drum Co.
1986 – G.W.H. (Geo. H. Way’s Co.) is sold to Witmer Mc Nease Music Co. of South Bend, Indiana
1987 – CBS licenses the Rogers name to Island Music who imports drums of the Rogers design from Tiwan
1990 – Corder sells Corder Drum Co. to Sammy Darwin of Darwin Drums. 1994 – Gibson U.S.A. buys Slingerland name and patents from
Gretsch and moves the company to Nashville, Tennessee
1994 – June – Sammy Darwin sells Darwin Drum Co. to Tommy Robertson who returns the company to the Fibes name and moves
operations to Austin, 4